Tag Archives: wellness

Nurse boss-a blog dedicated to nurses

Welcome to the 22nd installment of Nurse Boss. A blog series dedicated to nurses.

I was guided to create this series after a spark of creativity within my soul felt that it would help thousands of nurses.

My hope is that these interviews will ignite a spark in you or stir your inner landscape in a way that propels you to dream big and go after what it is that you desire in life and career.

A Nurse Boss is a nurse who has created a lifestyle that aligns their passion with their natural gifts and energy style in a way that helps others while also honoring their own body, mind, and soul. A Nurse Boss walks their talk and they are open to receive the abundance that is theirs.

A Nurse Boss is more than a role or job he/she has, it’s a certain energy, a vibe, a mindset.  A Nurse Boss has an uplifting energy and loves helping others, but not to the detriment of his/her own well-being.

Today’s Nurse Boss, Joyce Harrell has so much to share with you about life, career, and whole body healing. I love how she transformed her nursing burnout into a new nursing career that is bringing healing not only to herself, but thousands of others. My favorite part of her interview is her ABC’s of personal growth. 

Joyce Harrell, RN

1.What are you doing now? 

I work PRN as an Oncology Nurse while I’m building my business as a Wellness Coach. I share whole person wellness concepts through a program called the Wellness Inventory. In addition to being a wellness coach, I integrate aromatherapy and herbal support for my clients. I’m part owner in an on-site Wellness Center, and I also have an online business that mirrors my wellness center. Future plans are in the works to create CEU Aromatherapy and Herbal programs for nurses. I just returned from Europe where I completed an Aromatherapy Palliative Care program for health care providers. I’m going to be creating a holistic Palliative Care program locally, and also in the future train nurses here in the United States along the same path.

I also have a blog that is monetized. I write as an integrative wellness coach on stress management, mindset issues, and aromatherapy/herbal support. I also write some articles specifically for nurses on wellness.

2. Did you always have the desire to do what you are doing now or did someone or something create a spark in you that made you realize this was your calling?

I have studied and been interested in integrative health for over 30 years now. However, the wellness coaching part entered my life a few years after I experienced a severe burnout period in my nursing career 10 years ago. It wasn’t until I discovered the healing tools as I studied wellness coaching that my life experienced a shift. I realized at that time, I experienced the severe burnout because I wasn’t equipped with tools needed to navigate through my stress and overwhelm.

3. Why is nursing a great launchpad for nurses who want to create their own lifestyle doing what they love?

Nursing is such a healing art and science. You start with critical thinking skills, but those are enhanced with experience. You gain experience dealing with people (easy and difficult people). You learn how to prioritize tasks, and also how to lead and delegate. Holistic nursing is geared toward healing of mind, body, and spirit. As we learn to honor our own holistic framework, we are able to honor dreams and inner passions for creating a life we love.

4. What is the ultimate characteristic of a nurse boss? 

Confidence! Confidence in your ability to achieve your goals and dreams.  For me, I accomplish this with what I call my ABC’s of personal growth.  A) Authentic living. This is honoring our dreams, passions, desires, and purpose. Being authentic means to be true to who we are, even when opposition comes and it feels we are swimming upstream against popular thoughts. True pioneers were never among the masses. B) Boundaries.  Being able to set boundaries for our own peace, safety, healing, and path. There are many voices calling out to us to get us off course, and inviting us down paths that don’t resonate. Again being authentic and on point to our goals and dreams will allow us to say no when we want to say no, and to say yes to those experiences which are part of our journey.  Better is always the sidetrack for BEST. C) Creativity… Allowing our creative side to flow is essential to our health and success as a nurse boss. Often the left brain side (scientific) takes over and while we need this part to operate the business side of things, it’s imperative to set aside creative times for growth and new ideas. Creativity sessions are where I get my best ideas for my journey. This is where I dream, grow, and experience.

5. What was the biggest obstacle you’ve faced to get to where you are now? How were you able to overcome it? 

My biggest obstacle is actually me. Since I’ve started my journey I’ve participated in several mindset programs to shift my thinking from “I’m not good enough”, “who will want what I have to offer”, to “My experiences and passion attract those who need what I am offering”. It’s been very empowering for me personally to realize I offer what people need. I believe most people’s biggest obstacle is their own personal self and lack of confidence of being able to be successful doing something outside the norm. We nurse bosses are really pioneers.

6. What does your current job allow you to do that traditional nursing did not?

In my role as a wellness coach I have the time to be supportive in empowering my client to tap into the answers which already lie within. I’m able to be more holistic and support whole person wellness. I find even as a nurse who still works some hours within a traditional nursing role, I implement some of my wellness coaching skills, but it’s not the same. There is not time allotted or emphasis truly given to be able to help my patients look at body mind and spirit. The emphasis of course in most traditional settings is on the physical (unless you are a mental health nurse).

7. For nurses who feel stuck in their careers what words of wisdom do you have to help inspire them to break out of their status quo?

Nurses who feel stuck in their current role should explore what it is they really want to do. Sometimes nurses accept roles they really aren’t happy in. So, look at my ABC’s.  Be Authentic when you are looking for a position, or when looking for something beyond the status quo. Don’t accept a role you know isn’t a fit. Set your boundaries, and learn to say yes only when you know it’s right. Then have creative sessions to explore what you really want from your life. It is more time? More money? What are interest or hobbies or passions you have outside of nursing? Is there a way to be creative and “marry” the two? Nursing and your passion? Think outside the box.  Look for a nurse mentor who is already doing what you want to do. Mentor with them.

8. What resources can you share for nurses wanting to explore creating their own gig that actually pays them?

I am a member of the National Nurses in Business. This is a great resource with many ideas and resources to start your own business.

Now for fun:

9. What book or publication is currently on your nightstand?

I wish I could say I had a mystery novel, or fun fiction on my nightstand. I don’t. I’ve always got 2-3 books going at one time. 

I’ve got Nurse Herbalist by Dr. Martha Libster.   

Complementary Therapy in End Of Life Care by Madeleine Kerkhof-Knapp Hayes.

And the latest copy of Beginnings from American Holistic Nurses Association.

10. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be

This is a fun one.  For a non-healthy food, I’d have to say Ice Cream. More specifically: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Gelato.  And for a Healthy food, I could eat an avocado every day for the rest of my life! Love them!

11. How can we get in touch with you? 

The best way to get in touch with me is through email. My email is [email protected].  You can also find my writings at http://www.joyceharrell.com


Thank you for your energy and taking the time to read Nurse Boss. Please share with us what you are doing to own your nursing acumen, creativity, and imagination.

If you want to join the Nurse Boss movement to up the vibe of the nursing collective, join us over on Facebook at Nurse Boss Tribe http://bit.ly/2aE9vkh

Keep shining your light,



Nurse Boss

Nurse Boss-a blog series for nurses

Welcome to the 15th installment of Nurse Boss. A blog series dedicated to nurses.

I was guided to create this series after a spark of creativity within my soul felt that it would help thousands of nurses.

My hope is that these interviews will ignite a spark in you or stir your inner landscape in a way that propels you to dream big and go after what it is that you desire in life and career.

A Nurse Boss is a nurse who has created a lifestyle that aligns their passion with their natural gifts and energy style in a way that helps others while also honoring their own body, mind, and soul. A nurse boss walks their talk and they are open to receive the abundance that is theirs.

I absolutely love the energy of today’s Nurse Boss. Allow me to introduce Amy Shimek, serial entrepreneur, success strategist, Nurse Practitioner, wife to Russell, and mama to the A team.


Amy is a shining example of how marrying one’s clinical expertise with creativity in service to others while also honoring her own mind, body, and spirit is uber fun and amazingly successful, on her own terms.

1. What are you doing now?

I am the CEO of The Executive Suite, where we do business coaching specifically with network marketers. I am a multiple six-figure income earner in a direct sales network marketing company. 

2. Did you always have the desire to do what you are doing now or did someone or something create a spark in you that made you realize this was your calling?

I always desired to be my own boss, but didn’t realize I wanted full autonomy until I was employed for someone else. I wanted control over my own schedule and freedom to create and design.

3. Why is nursing a great launch pad for nurses who want to create their own lifestyle doing what they love?

Nurses are prepared for the business world more than you would realize. First, if someone collapses or has a medical emergency, chances are as a nurse, you will know what to do. Take that fear away and we can conquer anything. We also see and connect with people when they are the most vulnerable which gives us a unique opportunity to understand human beings like other professionals may not.

4. What is the ultimate characteristic of a nurse boss?

I think the most important characteristic is an attitude that wants to serve others.

5. What was the biggest obstacle you’ve faced to get to where you are now? How were you able to overcome it?

I am my biggest obstacle because I fear what others think of me. What I am doing isn’t traditional nursing and at first I thought that would offend others. I spent a lot of time in personal development  in the past and still feel that is important today. When I became a mother, I wanted to be a good example for my girls. I don’t want them to live in fear of what others think of them. Act in the face of fear and be an example to those around you.

6. What does your current  job allow you to do that traditional nursing did not?

I have a greater impact because I am able to serve others on a global level. I can duplicate what I’m doing. I teach wellness and partner with a wellness -based company. Therefore the people I teach can in turn teach others.

7. For nurses who feel stuck in their careers what words of wisdom do you have to help inspire them to break out of their status quo?

Nurses are great people to go out and serve the world because of our diverse background. We have a great understanding of human beings because we have to think critically in life threatening situations every single day. If you can handle that, I believe you can handle anything.

8. What resources can you share for nurses wanting to explore creating their own gig that actually pays them?

I am a huge fan of direct sales and network marketing especially in the context of heath and wellness companies. The world is sicker than we’ve ever been and that’s why the world needs nurses. We understand more than most the importance of health promotion and prevention. Also, you can create income while you are learning. You can create the capital to help in other endeavors.

Now for fun:

9. What book or publication is currently on your nightstand?

Intentional Living by John Maxwell

10. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

Given my background, I should probably say something more nutritious, but it’s actually nachos!

11. How can we get in touch with you?

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: Amy Shimek Lifestyle

Website: http://executivesuitelife.com/


Can you imagine your life without caffeine?

Can you imagine your life without caffeine?

If you asked me this six weeks ago I would have answered with a resounding NO. I am no different than you. I have good days and bad days. I struggle with achieving and maintaining optimal well-being when it comes to nutrition, and I am a health coach.

I have recently achieved success in kicking my caffeine habit and want to support you in doing the same. For full disclosure, I have to tell you that this is my third time and it is a charmer!!

This caffeine release does not have to be forever. I am inviting you to explore the option of resetting your body by releasing caffeine from your daily grind for seven days.

Sounds crazy right? If you aren’t sure, if this is right for you, let me shed some light on what may be going on in your body now with the use of caffeine.

Caffeine is processed through the liver and takes between five and seven hours to eliminate and is a stimulant to the central nervous system. Limited evidence suggests caffeine may reduce the risk of: Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes, and dementia. Although, I am not suggesting you go out and start drinking it for these possible benefits if you are not already. Source: Web MD- http://wb.md/1QQHh1e

Doesn’t seem like a big deal right? Well, for a lot of people it’s not. But when you pile on the physiological effects of chronic stress that most people are living with, this is when people start to become more sensitive to its effects.

If you answer yes to three or more of the following questions, you may want to consider abstaining from caffeine for a short time.

  • are you exhausted all the time?
  • do you need caffeine to get going in the morning?
  • do you need something to help you unwind at night, like medication or alcohol
  • do you crave sugar or carbs?
  • do you feel anxious or on edge?
  • are your bowel patterns irregular?

Here’s the skinny. The choices that we make about what we eat and drink have the potential for two outcomes: to heal or to harm. The potential effects are completely dependent on your own bio-individuality.

In other words, a food that brings you to your knees with abdominal pain may help me flourish. As humans we are constantly seeking pleasure in an effort to avoid pain. It may feel quite pleasurable to get that quick boost of energy and the ability to have laser sharp focus after those first few sips of our morning cup of joe, but is it worth the pain of that slump in the afternoon when we are so lethargic we need another cup of coffee to keep going? I am going with no!

So, you may be someone who is not affected by caffeine in a negative way. I never thought much of my daily coffee habit that I have had for over twenty years.

Until I starting thinking about how it may be impacting my health, specifically my waistline and my energy level. I feel lately like I have been on a treadmill that has no STOP button and my jeans are tight in the waist. Bad combo!

Here’s the real issue. I don’t drink my coffee black. It’s more like, I’ll have a little coffee with my sugar and cream! Over the last six months my coffee habit has taken a bit of a turn. I went from brewing my favorite coffee at home, frothing my cream and having the chocolate covered espresso bean on top to stopping by the local coffee shop and ordering a mocha. Every single day.

Not only was it bad for my waistline, but I was spending $30+ a week on that fancy cup of joe! But wait, it gets worse! I started going to the coffee shop on my lunch break for the free wi-fi and was ordering another mocha!

No wonder my waist started to expand! My habit had become an addiction. I would start to get a headache by lunchtime if I did not imbibe in my coffee habit. The more I drank, the more I wanted.

Then it happened. I got sick of feeling bloated, my jeans being tight in the waist, and having cystic and tender breasts. My breaking point was at work when I bent over and my jeans ripped! I knew these were all signs pointing towards letting go of my sugar-laden coffee habit.

This is important to note. We are constantly receiving signs from our bodies and the universe about our actions. It is when we tune into those signs and signals that can mean the difference between illness and wellness.

Maybe I would not have the same results if I drank straight up black coffee? But I wouldn’t do that. I need it full of sugar and cream or not at all.

I reached the point of wanting to feel better. Drinking this much caffeine and sugar was wreaking havoc on my body and mind. So, I stopped cold turkey. This is the third time I have done this. This time it has been so easy. I think it’s because my body so craved the chance to heal and reset.

In just six days without coffee, I have noticed:

  • Breast tissue that is free of cysts and is no longer tender.
  • I have not had to take melatonin in order to fall or stay asleep.
  • I am not craving sugar and carbs like I was before.
  • I am eating way healthier at every meal.
  • I have more energy.
  • I am uber proud of myself and empowered to keep up healthy habits that nurture my body, mind, and spirit.
  • I don’t get such a spike in my heart rate when I climb the stairs at work.
  • I don’t feel bloated and my tummy is flatter.
  • I have a more regular bowel pattern.
  • I feel more at ease.

Similar to some relationships, you have no idea how something impacts your well-being until you are without it! Most people do not make behavior changes until they are forced. I have seen it in my nursing career. I promote noticing things before they turn into full blown medical emergencies, such as heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. We know intuitively on some level that we need to change. However, knowing and doing are very different.

That is where I come in. I love nothing more than to support others in living into their optimal energetic state in mind, body, and soul.

So, If you would like to join my Release Caffeine Campaign, join by saying yes in the comments below and send me permission at [email protected] to include you in my private Facebook group.

I will support you in releasing caffeine for seven days. It will be fun and you won’t believe how good you feel after seven days. Who knows, you may feel so good that you don’t drink it again? But there’s only one way to find out!!

Is caffeine something that you want to release for 7 days? Maybe you hate coffee, but are a Diet soda junkie? I have a secret mission to have all women get off of this. What it is doing to your bones and endocrine system is scary.

There is nothing better than feeling good. Trying to establish new habits can be hard, but not if you have support along the way.

The fun begins Monday, February 22nd. See you there.

Until then, start to notice how you feel after caffeine,



Wellness at Work

Wellness at Work is a big trend these days. It’s a no brainer for employers. If you want to reduce sick and disability pay and retain your employees for longer than six months, it’s a must. For employers who need to tighten the belt on nurse retention this is a big deal. Creating work environments that promote health and wellness not just for patients, but employees is a must to be competitive in the marketplace.

If you are a nurse working in a hospital have you ever stopped to consider the physical environment? I am talking about the air quality, the noise, the furnishings, the access to nature.  Imagine if hospitals started designing our work spaces with our health in mind…….

I worked at a hospital that had beautiful landscaping and access to nature. It was so refreshing to step outside and escape in the natural surroundings just for a few minutes. I always returned refreshed and less stressed. Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that can make the biggest impact.

Some facilities provide activities and outlets for their nurses to renew and relax, like this massage chair at  Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion, IL. It is the brainchild of Jillianne Shriver, RN, BSN, HN-BC, a team lead for the inpatient medical oncology unit who thought of it after attending a training on holistic nursing. She literally used an old storage closet and filled the room with a massage chair and other items for relaxation, such as: tools for aromatherapy, journaling, a yoga mat, Tibetan singing bowls, and a small water feature.  Check it out here: Nurse Renewal

Nurses need a place to unwind and debrief while on the job. It just makes good sense. All parties win. Employer, nurse, and patient. I love seeing nurses creating simple solutions that make staying well on the job easier and it is refreshing to see collaboration from employers seeking this input.

I love creativity, innovation, sustainability, pushing the edge (in a healthy way), and non-toxic everything. So, when I stumbled across Natalie Nixon’s article, 8 Ways to Design Health Care, I was very interested. The article is so chock-full of awesome, but I only want to talk about the first point she makes. Read it in its entirety here: Health Care Design

The first point she makes is about “modular health” and how physical structures and indoor environments impact our health. At Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota they have something called the Well Living Lab which is a research facility dedicated to studying how our physical environments impact our health and finding ways to create healthier indoor spaces. Check it out here: Well Living Lab 

This design is the brainchild of Delos, a company that focuses on seven categories relevant to indoor health: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.  Delos is the pioneer of Wellness Real Estate™, a business that places health and wellness at the center of design and construction.

These are all things I can support. What about you? What cool things is your hospital or work environment doing to promote your wellness as a nurse?

Keep innovating and expecting great things,


I am boosting my wealth portfolio by investing in this one thing

lisbeth03 If you could improve or invest in only one thing to propel your wealth what would that be?

For me, it is my health. Without my health, I have nothing. I am a healthy nurse “by design.” I have created a life for myself that allows me to function at my optimal level.

I have been conscientious about my well-being since before I can remember. I have fond memories of running in road races with my parents as a first grader and running at the local track. When my mom and I would run together we would pretend hundreds of people were cheering us on as we crossed the imaginary finish line as we waved our arms above our heads in celebration for a job well done.

I am so grateful that my love affair with exercise was weaved into my DNA. I don’t know any other way to be. I’m not some crazy work out fanatic, but there has never been a time in my life when I was not exercising regularly. I love the way it makes me feel during exercise and long after it’s over. I love the clarity and groundedness it provides when I feel overwhelmed. It also makes for a wonderful excuse to get out in nature. Something I believe that we all need more of.

Exercise makes me feel alive and very happy. Unfortunately for my hubby, a love for exercise was not included in his DNA. He knows deep down that it will make him feel better, but actually making it happen is not likely to occur unless he really puts some major elbow grease into making it happen. Pardon the pun, I couldn’t resist. I often wonder how in the world he can go for months without it. I would loose my mind if I did not do at least some form of exercise weekly.

It is astonishing to me how often we take our amazing bodies for granted and tend to even ignore them, that is, until something within our bodies or some part of our bodies stops functioning as it should. Our bodies are our temples, our vehicles that take us everywhere we need to go and yet we continue to treat them like they will be around forever, by not giving them what they need or pushing them to their limits.

I am no different. I have taken my body for granted and all that it provides. However, during the times that I have been under the weather or had to readjust how I do things because my body was not functioning mechanically as it normally should, I felt such an appreciation for my wonderful body and the orchestration of things that it does well for me every single day.

Since I have lived a healthy lifestyle for the most part, I haven’t had any real health issues.  I get my yearly check ups and do not take any medications.

As a woman approaching my mid-forties, I want to ensure that the next forty are just as amazing or perhaps even better.

This decision led me to Functional Medicine.

I was introduced to Functional Medicine when I was studying nutrition at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2013. It fascinated me from the beginning and made so much sense.

The Institute for Functional Medicine prepares practitioners who want to become certified to offer Functional Medicine. Read their mission statement here: Mission Statement

The premise of Functional Medicine is this: “Functional Medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional Medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, Functional Medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.” – See more at: What is Functional Medicine?

As a nurse and someone who wants to maximize my health and vitality, this seems like a no brainer. An optimal lifestyle full of the ultimate health is highly individualized, which is why I love the fundamentals of Functional Medicine.

Functional Medicine addresses the whole me and does not focus on treating symptoms, but maximizing my whole being which incorporates all of my systems and my environment. Traditional medicine does not come close to this approach, which is why chronic disease has become so endemic in our culture. It simply doesn’t work. We throw drugs at symptoms and tell people to loose weight and never consider showing them how to do it in a sustainable way. It’s more than not eating fast food, it’s about exploring what in the body is not functioning at its’ optimal levels and correcting that first and then supporting an individual in how to do that in a way that supports their ultimate wellness.

I found a local physician, Dr. Rob Bruley who practices Functional Medicine through the Institute of Functional Medicine’s website directory. Payment was expected at the end of our visit. I used my Health Savings Account money to pay for the visit. It is more than I have ever paid for a “doctor’s appointment”, but by far the best investment I have ever made in myself and my future.

Our appointment was two hours and fifteen minutes. Dr. Bruley’s  office is in an old historic home and I never felt like I was at a “doctor’s office”.

It felt more like I was visiting a friend and it was very relaxed.

Prior to my appointment, I completed a lengthy intake form about my health, lifestyle habits, and living environment. I am completing a set of comprehensive tests (urine, blood, saliva) in addition to the assessments done at my visit to determine any baseline deficiencies. My next appointment will include a review of the results and a plan of action.

I want as many people; especially nurses to know about the practice of Functional Medicine as an option. Many people turn to Functional Medicine as a “last resort”. I believe prevention is the best practice.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to reach your optimal wellness. Your wealth depends on it.


I believe prevention and Functional Medicine are the answer to turning around our flailing sick care that we label as “health care.” My dream is that insurance companies will start to see the value and impact of Functional Medicine and start covering this type of practice.

Dr. Bruley was kind enough to shoot a quick video to explain what functional medicine is while I was at his office. Check it our here:  Dr. Bruley explains Functional Medicine

Have you seen a functional medicine provider and what was your experience like?

Wishing you optimal wealth and wellness.