CRAFTING WELLNESS STORY

Level Up

She loved nursing but hated her job. After realizing she was suffering from burn out, nurse Jenney Floyd decided to create "Next Level Nursing" to help nurses combat burn out, advocate for themselves, up their negotiating skills, and find a creative outlet and safe place to express themselves. Check out this podcast and level up with nurse Jenney Floyd!

TRANSCRIPT

Jenney
I have always loved being a nurse, I love being a nurse, I've never had a shift where I dreaded driving to work, and didn't want to be there. And then I got to that point where I loved being a nurse, and I hated my job. I'm a strong person, I'm resilient, I take a lot, right? Like, I've got some broad shoulders too. And I just felt like if I'm strong and confident and resilient, and I feel this way, you know, then I know, the other strong and competent and resilient nurses that I'm working with, are feeling the same things, and nobody's talking about it. And I thought if we could just get a bunch of nurses in the room together, to hash it out and talk about it, without management and without patience, and without call bells going off and without your family around, you know, like, how much could we gain from each other, and learn from each other as far as managing the stress and how I'm handling the traumas, you know, because at some point, you got to handle it. And so I thought, if we could do that for nurses, then that would be fantastic. So that's where I got the idea for next level nursing is, you know, getting nurses together so that we could learn from each other. And what are we going to do next? What's what's going to be that next level for us and that was where I got the next level nursing.

Brooke Smith
Welcome to MDF instruments crafting wellness Podcast. Today I have the honor and pleasure of introducing you to Jenny Floyd.

Jenney
I'm a registered nurse. I've been a registered nurse for about 13 years now. I live in the state of Texas. I'm originally born and raised in Arizona kids and work pretty much keeps me busy. I've been in the ICU and in the ER mostly the ER for throughout my career.

Brooke Smith
What kind of led you to becoming a nurse, can you tell us a little bit about why you chose nursing and a little bit about what that process was like for you in your life?

Jenney
For me, I did not grow up wanting to be a nurse, right? It was never my it wasn't my dream career as a kid or as a teenager. You know, I always thought I would be a teacher. I always thought I would teach math. Which what I know about myself now that would have been an abysmal fail. So I probably would not have been great at that. But in my 20s, early 20s, when I was you know, trying to figure out what I wanted to do by I landed on nursing, I knew my personality, I needed to do something that I was helping people and making a difference. My youngest brother has Down syndrome. So I've always been he's only he's just right behind me. I'm eight years older than him. And I'm from a big family. But so I've always had that natural caretaker role just built in. My mom is a liver transplant patient. So growing up, she was sick with some liver stuff. So I have that natural caretaker role just kind of built in. But I didn't. I didn't go I didn't pursue it. And I think that was just use and immaturity. I didn't know. I didn't know what to do. What was my next step to go to nursing school? I didn't have all of those answers. So my mom had a liver transplant. I had kids in my 20s. And which was an easy decision for me. I didn't, it wasn't 100% Sure on my career, but I was 100% Sure I knew I wanted to be a mom. And so we had a family young. And then in my 30s I cycled back to it like it was time I'd stayed home with kids for about 12 years. And when my youngest was a year, it was just I just hit a point where I actually had postpartum depression after I had him. And so coming out of that, I decided I just was going to go back to school, and I cycled I had that point I had cycled back to nursing for the same reasons. I knew I needed to be helping people. I knew I needed to make a difference in some way. So that was that was so that was when I started my prereqs and I didn't I graduated from nursing school. I was 35 when I graduated and started working as a nurse. And that was a nursing school with four kids and if it's doable, it's always doable, but uh, it was it was an experience for sure.

Brooke Smith
Wow. And so how long were you in nursing school?

Jenney
I did my prereqs and I always qualify this I don't say it because it's like a feather in my cap. But I you know, when you got four kids in their little schools elementary that you know, that's your priority. So I did night school and I did my prereqs really slow I took one or two class says this semester, because that's what I could manage at home and still manage book reports and diagramas. And you know, all of the elementary school year homework. And then when I got into nursing school that was when I put, you know, my kids were in daycare at that point, they were older. And it was, it was a little easier to manage.

Brooke Smith
We talked on this podcast a lot about, you know, getting into nursing school, people graduating from college, going to nursing school, or like how they're finding their way. But there's a lot of people out there that don't always know that they wanted to be a nurse or in the in the healthcare field. And I love that you, you had an idea about it, maybe in your 20s, but didn't actively start going after it until later in life and still very young. But after you had already started a family and already started getting your roots down. And then you know, I think it's very inspiring to show that like, you don't have to do everything just right away. You don't have to just you don't have to follow the rules of Oh, high school, college this this that people get stuck in I mean, life, that's not what life is life is about, you know, go being a mom going saying, Hey, I know that this is what I want to do, you're in love this, this happens first things don't always happen in the order that you get there. I'm trying to say, but um, I love that you came to a point in your life where you said, Okay, now it's time for me to I have the time and a little bit more freedom to go and give back and do something that I'm passionate about and can still like, you know, justify being away from your children and being away from Yeah, this is work on numbers. And it's a hard, hard, hard life sometimes. I know that being an ICU and ER is no joke. Can I ask you why you chose emergency medicine? As a nursing as a as a career as opposed to? You know, I'm still learning along with everyone else about all of the career paths that nurses can take? Because there are so many of them? Yes, yes. What, what drew you to that specialty.

Jenney
When I was in nursing school, and you're exposed to the different departments, my first instinct was that I would lean towards labor and delivery, because labor and delivery nurses just have a they have a lot of autonomy. And then in nursing school, I realized, you know, when I did my labor and delivery rounds, clinicals that I didn't love it the way I thought I would, but I loved the emergency room, I loved the pace I loved. Not every single patient is really sick, but some of them are. And so I loved the challenge of having to triage a patient and get them to communicate what their symptoms are, so that I can assess them correctly. You know, I love the pace and the acuity level and personality wise. I'm an ER nurse. I never would have made it and labor and delivery. They're very sweet and nice nurses. And I'm a little salty.

Brooke Smith
You have to be in the emergency room

Jenney
And my my training though, right out of nursing school was in the surgical ICU at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. And that made all the difference for me, honestly, ICU is not it isn't, it wasn't natural for me, right, I had to, I had to enter and I repeated the residency twice for Nurse Residency. For me, that was what I needed to get the whole picture in my head when I first came out of nursing school, I was not connecting all the dots like I just didn't see the whole picture. And so backing out of ICU going out to I went to an observation unit for a year and that allowed me to get my time management down my assessment skills better my triaging is essentially at the bedside. And then I went back to the ICU, and retrained and then I was in the ICU after that for another three years. And that made the hugest difference for me personally, because I had to learn to think differently than I naturally do. So then going to the ER after being in the ICU, for me was the best transition because I already had this really in depth detailed training that then fostered a really productive growth in the ER, right. So because er is more focused assessments and ICU you got to do head to toe and know all of the stuff you do in the ER too, but we're focused on what's your complaint, and you know what's going on right now. So that was that was my transition and that I had loved the ICU I loved my team I loved it was a trauma one centers we got a lot of the traumas and I loved that. But I love the the I still do both I can float to both. And I tell people, they're apples and oranges. But long as you like fruit you're okay.

Brooke Smith
I like that. Yeah, so I do have a question about your shifts and I know that starting out usually I hear that a lot of times starting out nurses have to do night shift. Were you day shift night shift was that what was that like as a mom like, Did you with your hours, if they were a night shift, I'm just kind of curious about that.

Jenney
I am a night shifter at heart, right like, like deep in my soul, I would work nights forever if I could. It's it's a whole different. It's a vibe to total. It's its own thing, right and night shift, I did night shift for 12 years. And in the beginning of my career, it was easier because my kids were still little. And so I could be gone at night when my husband was home to care for them. But I was usually home by the time to see them before they went to school and I was home to pick them up from school so I could still get dinner, go and get some homework started. So that worked well for our family at that time. nightshift is a beating that just is like you, you go to day shift and realize that you've felt like crap for 10 years, you're just, you're constantly you're just forever tired, you're forever tired, you couldn't sleep, I would periodically have to sleep for 20 hours just to catch up at the end of the month or something like that. But I loved nightshift, it was a different vibe. Patients that are admitted in the ER in the night tend to be sicker. And you're running with a smaller crew, a few less resources. So you got to be sharp, you got to be on top of your game. But it's a great learning environment, I think. But I also think it can be really intimidating as a young nurse because you're trying to balance it flips your whole life. And so you're trying to balance you know, different schedules. And you know, that takes a lot of communication and I I've been called more than once by the school to come get my kids because I've forgotten them or slept through my alarm. And my kids are pretty easy going but the kids we were carpooling with it really. They didn't understand why why a mom how a mom could forget their kids. The school always knew I was working nights. But yeah, plenty of stories of plenty of stories coming off of night shift for sleep deprived. And I went to the grocery store one time and I just gotten off shift and bought like $120 worth of groceries and I got home and it was all produce was no snow, no milk, no eggs, no bread cereal. No, me. Yep, we're gonna fruit salad the rest of the week.

Brooke Smith
Yet apples and oranges on the mind. I see. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah, I mean, I mean, hats off to you for sure. I mean, I don't even know how being a mom of four and then also working night shifts. You know, that is not easy at all. Because you're in a high stress environment, working those shifts, and then you're coming home to a whole family who needs you? And you know, you're trying to sleep during weird hours. And no, it does take a major toll on the body. But like you said, you know, some people are more night owl type. Lasers. I myself used to be more with a owl. And I feel like I still am. But I'm just you know, I'm just tired all the time now. So

Jenney
yeah, I'm just old now. I just want to sleep anytime a day or night. I'll sleep.

Brooke Smith
Yeah, it's a skill, like a sleeping skill. I want to talk to you. I want to segue a little bit into next level nursing and a little bit about how that started. What it is for people who are listening and watching. Can you kind of introduce next level nursing? What inspired this?

Jenney
Absolutely. So in 2019, I had taken a break from the bedside for a year, I just hit a point where I, I have always loved being a nurse, I love being a nurse, I've never had a shift where I dreaded driving to work, and didn't want to be there. And then I got to that point where I loved being a nurse and I hated my job. And so and we'd had a number of really stressful events in my department. And the reality of those events was three very specific events. And in my mind, they were all right on top of each other. In reality on the calendar, they're about, they're about nine and 10 months apart. And when I was talking to another nurse about that, and she was saying, No, that was you know, that was in January, and this was in October, you know, these things that were happening and I realized, you know, we were looked When we figured out, you know, all these dates of these stressful events, and I realized how far apart they actually were, but in my mind, I had condensed them so close together, that I realized, that's, that can't be helping condensing all of this stress and traumatic events, they were really big events. And I was just grouchy I was showing up. And you know, I was the nurse that showed up and just complained for 12 hours, right? People put up with it, because I'm funny, but it's just showing up and just complaining and for 12 hours straight. And so I took a break from the bedside. And I took a job working from home as a home triage nurse on the phone. And that I did that for a year. And that was when the pandemic hit. Well, in the fall of 2019, when I left the bedside is when I was thinking it. And I remember the moment that I had this thought, talking to a friend of mine, who was not a nurse. But I went, I told people, I was leaving the bedside, because I was burnt out. I got a really, it was just an interesting response from different people. Managers that I that I love that worked for again afterwards, but their response was, I'm leaving the ER to go work at home. And their response was, I'm going to, you're going to be so bored. And at the time, I don't, yeah, good. I need to be bored for a while, right? I need to, like, my just brain just needed to decompress. But nobody, but if you told other ER nurses that you're burnt out, I think it honestly made them uncomfortable. Because you're it kind of had the stigma of weakness at the time. And this is all pre pandemic, right. And but a strong person, I am resilient, I have, I mean, I can take a lot, right. Like, I've got some broad shoulders to, you know, carry. And I just felt like if I'm strong and confident and resilient, and I feel this way, you know, then I know, the other strong and confident and resilient nurses that I'm working with, are feeling the same things, and nobody's talking about it. And so at the time, I remember having this conversation with a friend of mine. And I thought if we could just get a bunch of nurses in the room together, to hash it out and talk about it. Without management without patience, and without call bells going off and without your family around, you know, like, how much could we gain from each other. And learn from each other as far as managing the stress and hadn't handling the traumas, you know, because at some point, you got to handle it. And so that idea right there, I've been to other conferences and seminars for other reasons outside of the medical field, and really got a lot out of them. And I thought, if we could do that for nurses, then that would be fantastic. So that's where I got the idea for next level nursing is, you know, getting nurses together so that we could learn from each other. And what are we going to do next? What's what's going to be that next level for us. And that was where I got the next level nursing. So that's what I did. So I started next level nursing. We had our first conference in February, it was Leap year February 29, of 2020. But that conference was small. But impactful. And the feedback that we got from the conference was that our content was spot on. It's what nurses needed. We focused on, we focused on burnout, entrepreneurship, we focused on negotiations. And then I did a creative writing session. And what we found was the creative writing session, I knew would only appeal to I knew I anticipated it only appealing to a small group of people, right? They're not everybody's a writer. Right. So but journaling and writing is such a huge, powerful tool. There's all kinds of evidence based, you know, for just processing trauma or emotion or your own narrative, right in life that getting it out on paper. The process of getting it out of your head and on paper is therapeutic. Right? And so that's why I wanted to create a writing session just for the journaling purposes or creative writing purposes. But that was is what I wanted it for knowing it wouldn't appeal to probably everybody. And they loved it. They loved it. I had a nurse there that was dear for conference I hadn't met her before. And, like me, it's kind of an ER nurse personality and doesn't take any lip from anybody, just the strong nurse. And she busted out a poem. Because they had a session where we did, they give us a prompt, and then you could write for Dave's 10 minutes to write just brain dump on a paper right where you want to write. And she knocked out a poem just so I kept looking at her thinking, you had a poem sitting inside you, like you just just had a poem waiting to get out, right. And so people loved that session, within the fall, summer of 2020. After the conference, I went back to the bedside, I took a crisis assignment, because I just felt like, I have a good skill set, it's needed right now. And nurses were just taking a beating. So for me, my motivation to go back to the bedside was to support nurses. Of course, I wanted to be there to help patients, that's I'm good at that. And that's great. But my motivation was to go be bedside to help nurses to be that support and help fill in a gap, you know. And so with that shift in my mindset, I'm going in to help nurses. And having a year off from the bedside, allowed me to step into a crisis assignment. Fresh and coming from the place of that conference where we were I knew my content was on point, it helped me relate to relate to my co workers figure out that pandemic and the crisis assignments, so that so I kept my eye out on him, right? I whatever nurse I was working with to check in on him. How are you feeling today? What do you what do you got going on, then these nurses that were brand new coming out of graduating, and the pandemic is all they knew. That's all they knew, that's a whole different level of stress, a whole different level of stress. So I I'm so glad I had that year off. Because at the time, I thought I was burned out, I was burned out. But what we know now is burnout is a whole different animal now, right after the pandemic, right. And so, so the year of the pandemic, next level nursing, we held a writing conference, and with cash prizes, and so we have just a writing conference for all levels of nursing. And so we got a lot of entries in what just was some great stories. It was some were fiction, some were nonfiction, and we have those, the winners up on our website, but there was some great stories that came out of that. Out of the pandemic, that was a great project. And we'll do that. We'll do another one. At some point. I haven't got the details worked out on when we'll do another writing contest. But that was really fantastic experience, just to hear other nurses perspective and stories.

Brooke Smith
I mean, you touch base on so many important things. I, I love the perspective of you wanting to be there for other nurses, because honestly, I haven't really heard that a lot. I hear like, oh, want help patients, patients, patients, but nurses need to support each other. You guys are the ones who understand what's going on what you're going through what your days are, like their hours are like, what kind of equipment you have, what you need, what you don't have, you know, and no one else is going to be able to understand that but you guys who are in it together. And I am curious a little bit about that. Did you? Have you ever seen a lot of nurse bullying and I know that there's some topics on nurses bullying nurses? And did you did you notice that did you notice there was more of a commodity once the pandemic hit and people kind of had to come together more?

Jenney
Absolutely. When I came out, like I said, I graduated I was 35 and I'm pretty strong personality. So bullying me with is a difficult thing to do. You know, but, but nurses, even that's only been 13 years ago that the nurses are famous for eating their young. Right? They always have been and it's it's tough. It doesn't need to happen. And I've seen a huge shift in that and I think it's fantastic. My experience the nurse bowling that I've seen isn't isn't in an effort to just put somebody down or be mean, or and I know I know other nurses that have had that situation. But it is tough to train somebody with the correct sense of urgency without a little bit of bite sometimes. And that has been I think there's a good transition taking place with that. And I, I'm good. I'm friends with a nurse right now that when I precepted her in it. And I'm not a great preceptor, actually, because of because of this reason, I think we're having a normal conversation. And, and then somebody cries, and I think, Well, shit, I didn't mean to make her cry. I didn't, I think so some of his personality. And some of it is I'm trying to convey this in this really important sense of urgency, that and, and you're literally dealing with a scenario where you could hurt somebody or take their life or make it a life altering mistake. I don't always have times to say, you know, the pro con Pro that they teach in management, right, I gotta give you say something positive, and then give you the feedback, and then end it with something positive. I don't always have time to do though I have time to say, this medication has to be given at this time over this amount of minutes. And this is the correct dose and route. And you didn't do it? And then and then we'll talk about it later. But in that moment, you know, so I don't always think that the nurse bullying has come up just that damaging perspective. Does that make sense?

Brooke Smith
Yeah, absolutely. No, I think that's a really great thing to talk about. Because you are right, I don't think it's always with a malice intent. I don't think it's always coming from a place of like, we're better than Yeah, like, Oh, you just you're a brand new nurse, I think it comes from being protective, trying to be safe taking the job seriously, because now you're in it, you've been doing it a while you, you haven't been a new nurse for a while. And so you've come in with all this experience and knowledge that you're also trying to share on to this new newer nurse who may be just coming out of nursing school and into this whole, you know, crazy er situation, that you are not only dealing with other patients live and nurses are also dealing with their own careers, their own licensing, you know, problems that could happen. I mean, look at that nurse who who was recently convicted. A mistake. And so it, it's, it's, in a way, I think you could even argue that what one could perceive as bullying is actually a protective person trying to say, hey, like, don't screw this up, like we have this. And I'm sure that there is bullying on the other other ways? Well, I mean, I'm

Jenney
sure it's there. It's there for sure. It's for sure. There. Yeah, as as a preceptor, it's really, it's a, it's a sometimes a tough balance to strike where I'm conveying that sense of urgency, and I'm giving you the proper training. But when, and this is true across the board in life, if you're into if you're intimidated, you don't learn well. Right? If I'm intimidated in a moment, then we all do it. It's just human nature, right? Then I go to my protective instincts, and I don't want to look stupid, and I don't want to look like I don't know anything. And I don't want to make a steak in front of all these people. Iwant to make sure that that nurses know, they can come to me and ask a question, and I'm going to teach them. And so and especially for my personality, because I can be pretty abrasive sometimes, right? And so I've had to really be conscious of that, you know, so that you're helping somebody learn and not being really nintimidating because nobody learns like that. You know, it's just tough. It's just tough. And I had great preceptors that were hard on me. I never had anybody that was unkind or just bullying me, blatantly. But they they held my feet to the fire, you know, and that was in an ICU setting. And I had to, but yeah, I learned a lot from them. It's a tough it shouldn't happen. And I'm seeing a huge shift in that trend. And I what I've really, really loved and you can I get all my generations mixed up. I don't know if they're Gen Xers or millennials. I don't even I don't even know who they are anymore. But that the shift in nursing, I think that's happening is because of though that new, those that the 20 year olds now, in that decade of life, they're bringing this whole different perspective to nursing. And I think it's they're not they don't have an eight to five mentality where it's, you know, they work their three days and those other four days off or for their life, right there do doing cool things and they've got adventures and trips and they're doing going places and so, and they're all really cohesive. You know, when I work, the crisis assignment, this in the pandemic, it was a really young unit, or really young unit, the average experience was, there was a handful of nurses that had a lot of experience. But there was the majority, like three to four to five years experience, which is pretty young, a lot of two to three year experienced nurses, and they backed each other up, they were really cohesive. And I think that's an incredible asset. For these younger nurses coming into the field now, what they're bringing is that fresh perspective of work, work life balance. I always, I always think that's such a catchphrase, because it's just an impossible balance, right? Like, some days work wins, and some day life wins, right, but they're bringing a different perspective to how to balance that, and setting boundaries. And, and then because of that, we're seeing this huge shift. And the nursing mentality in terms of not eating are young.

Brooke Smith
But it sounds like more of a team mentality, which takes me to next level nursing, because that's what you're trying to cultivate there is saying, Hey, we're all in this together, we're all experienced name traumas, the same hours, the same obstacles, we need to talk about what we're going through, because if we don't, we're all going to lose, you know, we got to be together. Because every every job is important across the whole team. And if people are feeling bad, and they're not saying it, the whole team is just going to be deflated. Because you're going to feed off of that there's going to be messed up mistakes. And mental health is really, really important thing. I mean, Nurse suicide, you know, things and and we need to protect our nurses is why I really wanted to have you on this podcast, because I can tell you advocate for nurses, you're you're trying to make a difference. You're trying to help make them more cohesive, as more of a team and say, Hey, let's talk about this together. There's no shame in this. It let's have a support group. And there's a support group kind of a thing. And I love that because we can't talk if we don't talk about things, we're not gonna be able to fix them. And I think people can at least step away from it. They're a little like, oh, I don't want to say this. I don't want to say this. But we need to talk about what's actually happening so that we can, you know,

Jenney
yeah, I think to that, when in and the research I've done and the reading I've done dealing with burnout specifically. And this was and this was pre pandemic, right, actually, I found this book during the pandemic, I believe, right at the beginning. And it's called, it's called burnout. The secret to unlocking the stress cycle, it's two sisters, Emily and Amelia Nagasaki. And in that book, they're both incredibly educated. And but and the reason the book appealed to me is because it talks about burnout and self care, but it talks about it in terms of evidence based research, not a bubble bath, right, like a bubble bath is relaxing. But that is that doesn't fix your head, you know. And so that book gives some great feedback and steps and routines to do to kind of deal with that with that burnout. But when I was reading the book, one of the there was a quote in there, and it it has stuck with me since then, exhaustion happens when you get stuck in the same emotion. And so when we get stuck in stress, and burnout and anxiety, for a nurse that, you know, when you get stuck in that, you Ben I just that was like the one of the most clarifying sentences I've ever read in my life. I'm like, that's why I'm exhausted. Because every day in nursing is the same. Right? You're dealing with life and death, sick, people are mad, you got to get everything done on time. It's an incredibly stressful environment. I love it. But it's incredibly stressful. And so when you get stuck in that and you're not processing it, that's when you get exhausted. And then that then you're just stuck on that hamster wheel of burnout.

Brooke Smith
Yeah, we get stuck in like a kind of a fight or flight mode. Because I like yeah, when you're stuck in such a thing. Your body can't tell the difference like Am I being chased by a bear right now and I'm gonna or I know when I get nervous, I sweat a lot. It can happen in social anxiety. It can happen if a Bear Bear chasing me it can happen lever right? My body reacts the same way. It doesn't.

Jenney
Right and that's what and she actually it's funny that you said that that the book. That's exactly what they talk about you You know that we're in that fight or flight. And if we don't, for the most part, we don't have the tools to stop the cycle. Like caveman, you're chased by a bear chased by a tiger, you run back to your village, all your friends come help you kill the bear or the tiger, you eat the tiger for dinner. I one I've completed this whole cycle, I go to bed happy and not not stressed, because I've had this full circle of experience, emotional experience. And for us in this society, and just last night, I came home from a very stressful shift, and we lost a patient. And my husband is going to bed it's you know, 10 o'clock is are you coming up to bed? I'm like, No, I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna sleep for another hour and a half. I'm so wound up right now I don't, you know, because I didn't, and I didn't do what I should have done, which is go for a 30 minute walk or read or, you know, something that I know calms my mind. So I did you know, so I ended up talking to my husband for another 30 minutes or so. And then you're able to kind of just process it a little bit. But it's a specific, it's a physiological thing in your body, you got to complete that, that cycle to get rid of it. Yeah. So we do talk about that a lot in next level nursing burnout, just because that's obviously my what got it started. And the next conference that we're having this year, burnout is a huge one. But we're also going to bring in, what I've tried to focus on is subjects that I feel like, support the nurse and give them tools to avoid burnout. Right? So for example, overtime, is a huge contributor to burnout, right? Because you're working so many hours. And it's tough for me to even bring that one up as an example, because there's overtime to work, I will work it. You know, we, in our early years, I hardly we are, that was how we plan for vacations, I would work two or three extra shifts, and then you know, that was that pays for your whole vacation. But overtime is a huge contributor to burnout, obviously, because it's just it's more of the same. And so what are the reasons nurses are working overtime? Well, there are financial reasons, right? So do you need to learn to negotiate for yourself better, so you have a higher wage, so that you have more income? Do you need to learn to budget and invest, so you have more financial freedom, and you don't have to work that overtime? So we're trying to bring in some other subjects this year, like, we'll have financial wellness, so that we can address that issue, right? Because if you're financially fit, that takes so much stress out of your life, right, and your money is working for you. And you're not always working for your money. That's a huge shift in your mindset. So the the financial thing that'll be the financial wellness, that'll be another great addition, this year, we have an artist that she is a nurse practitioner, and started her career as an LPN and worked all the way through. And now she no longer practices but she's a full time artist. And that was her outlet all along was art. So she's going to do a session for us just on using that creative outlet for processing, all of that stuff. And then we'll have speaker on resilience. And then we're going to have a Legal Nurse Consultant, speak. That's a whole nother career path you can take with nursing. So we're bringing in some new new subjects, but I think they'll all serve nurses well in the in the same way to boost your confidence. Educate yourself and you know, just to empower you with more knowledge, more education, more experience, you're going to get burnout, you're going to get stressed, but so avoiding it isn't going to work. But processing it and learning from it and helping each other is the goal.

Brooke Smith
If you could tell us when this event is our people sign up for this event, can they still get involved? Is this an event you do every single year? You're going to do try to do it more often. Just give us a little rundown if people who are listening on watching who want to maybe join this or get involved somehow.

Jenney
This conference is here is October 14 and 15th in San Antonio, Texas on the Riverwalk. The website is next level ar n.com And you can get tickets there. It's 129 a person for both days so altogether 129 is a screaming deal for a two day conference. We've got MDF instruments on board. As a sponsor, we're working with a couple other sponsors right now, as well. And I think I'm excited, I think it's going to be fun just to have that many nurses together. And we've got some phenomenal speakers coming up the original conference that I did, I was not concerned about CEUs, or continuing education credits, because it just was, that was not my point. My point wasn't your nursing license, or what the hospital needs from you, or what the administration wants you to do. My point was the nurse, I just wanted to focus on the nurse, but nurses are busy. And they don't have time to do all the things they want to do and get everything done. And so we are bringing in some continuing education credits this this conference. So I think that'll help with nurses wanting to get there. So then they're kind of getting more out of it and getting some CPUs. So that'll be another big change for this conference this year that we were really excited to offer. I would love to be able to do a conference yearly ends. But we'd love to the Writing Contest. So right now my thought is, do I do a conference when you're in a writing contest? And next year? Do we do both? So we're still hashing that out right now?

Brooke Smith
Yes, that's great information. $129. What a deal that is amazing. There's gonna be all kinds of value in this. And spread the word please, anyone listening or watching that might even no nurse that might be interested in this as it's a great, great, great, great conference that's going to be going on, we're excited to, to follow along that journey and see how it goes. All the things that you're doing are amazing. I'm really inspired by you, I'm so glad that you reached out because all these things you talk about are so important. And I love how you're just very honest, but that you're very direct with it. You don't try to sugarcoat it, you know, and that's, I think that's the honesty that we need right now in the world so that we can actually make a difference.

Jenney
Thank you. Thank you. It's yeah, it's been fun. It's yeah. passion project, I guess.

Brooke Smith
Yeah. I have to ask, like, I'm curious. I'm being a nurse, in ICU and in the ER, before the pandemic, during the pandemic after the pandemic. I there's been a lot of controversy about nurses and about what what was done to them, not not just in the the hours that they had to work, but in this kind of martyr that they got kind of put under, um, without the supplies that they needed, that kind of thing, but also just being being forced vaccinated and that kind of stuff. Do you have any perspective on what it was like for you, or the kind of the temperature of nurses and how they're feeling because I hear you know, sometimes us like as MDF instruments, you know, we did a poll on actually for nurses, and this was before the pandemic. And it was kind of just about how, how they're heroes and all of the things that they do and how they're, you know, they're working their hours, they're missing their holidays, they're doing, you know, all of these things that nurses do, and it's meant to be a compliment. But I know that there was some kickback during the pandemic, when people were calling nurses, heroes, and all that. And they're like, We didn't sign up for this. We don't want to be a hero. We just want to do our jobs. You know, and we need, we need what we need to be able to do our jobs. Do you I just kind of curious like the temperature of what is what is going on now and how nurses are feeling.

Jenney
Oh, Brooke. Nurses are done. They're done. You know, if you don't want to pay a nurse, they're leaving. And nurses aren't. The travel contracts are paying more. Obviously, they always have, but nurses aren't staying. They're not staying for a lot of reasons. The statistic and I apologize, I can't quote the source. I'm trying to remember where I read this. I'll try to I'll try to find the source so that I can shoot you. I'll tag you the article, if I can find it again. But it estimated it was saying 25% of nurses have left the field, not the department. They didn't switch jobs. They left nursing we're down a quarter 25% of the industry left after after and because of the pandemic and that's layered there's a lot of layers to that right the the Great Awakening everybody calls it right well nurses some of it was PE some of it was the how they were treated by hospital administration. Right how some of it is it, it was difficult to to watch people die, you know, we're even in a trauma ICU, you in a trauma center, you probably see more deaths than average, because trauma is sudden, right. And sometimes you just can't save them. And so you that isn't uncommon, but and these are like, numbers out of my own head right now. But I can, I'm thinking you could go a week without a patient dying, you know, previous like, you could work your whole shift, and you know, all of your shifts that week, and nobody died. And you might even go, you know, the unit might have a death, but you didn't have it, and you didn't have a code, firstly, on your own shift. And then the pandemic, people were dying, every single shift. That is a lot to process. It's a lot. And they were alone. So you're holding the hand of strangers as they're leaving this world because their family can't be there. And their family is watching on an iPad, it was a FaceTime experience, you know. And so putting that, so, so the reasons nursing has left is is varied and valid. For those of us that are still here, and that's the conference theme, we're still here. Nurses are done. If management can't figure out how to keep them. And this is a true across the board, prior pre pandemic, to now, most hospitals have more in their budget for hiring than they do for retention. And that's a problem. That's a huge problem. Right? So how are

Brooke Smith
you, the employees that are working there for you who have been loyal, who are giving their energy and their life like it should be reversed.

Jenney
And there are a lot of hospitals that did great things to keep their nurses and and try to level out that the pay grade. So that and I get it, I showed up and worked in a crisis contract in a crisis scenario. And I was making three times what the nurse next to me with a staff nurse next to me was making, right, of course, they would go and find another job doing what I'm doing. They're doing the same thing. Of course, they would go find where they're going to be paid more. And so I think a lot of hospitals did do some really great things to compensate their staff nurses. But now, it's going to be an interesting transition over the next couple of years. To see how hospitals how they, how they navigate these waters, and I honestly, I don't know what the answer is. I don't know. And I think about this all the time. The the conversations I have with nurses and that in my own opinion is it is incredibly difficult pill to swallow that you can't give me more than a 2% Raise, which is like 70 cents. But you know, but the C suite is there are million dollar you have CEOs that are making a million dollar salary plus a bonus. That's tough to swallow. So it's difficult to be loyal to a hospital when you don't feel like they're loyal to you. And that's so it's gonna be an interesting the next couple years are going to be pretty interesting and pretty telling. And so but the general feel for nurses that I'm getting is they're just done. And I get the other side of it too. Hospitals can't just keep paying these huge rates, right? But their staff nurse leaves because they don't retain the staff nurse and then they bring in a traveler and pay them what they wouldn't pay the staff nurse. So you get stuck on that hamster wheel. And and I don't have an MBA I say never studied economics. I you know, so I don't I don't have the answer. But I do know as a nurse I will never be without a job and I can go wherever the hell I want to go. So it's gonna be tough.

Brooke Smith
Yeah, I don't blame them at all. And I think is there a lot of pay transparency among nurses because I I wonder that too, you know, people sometimes get a little weird about, like, what they're being paid or hospitals or employers will sometimes not really like you to be very honest or verbal about what you're getting paid. And so there's not a really great way to kind of gauge Oh, she's making this I'm making this he's making mess. You know, where do I fit, but I think as more pay transparency comes to light, because I know that people, they post it on social media, tick tock Instagram, like those are putting the nomination out there. And then people go, Well, wait a second, I've been working at this hospital for 10 plus years, I'm not making near that kind of money, you're bringing in someone who's only going to be here for 13 weeks and paying them, you know, what you're paying me? Right? Right? And supposed to feel valued? How am I supposed to show up the best I can when I'm right like that.

Jenney
And I've always said my whole career, I don't, I don't need to go to work to be appreciated. I'm going to work to be compensated. And I chose my job. Right. So I'm here to be compensated for my skill set. So when and the pay transparency on this, I don't know this might be a pretty polarizing statement to make. But there's all kinds of research and evidence behind it. The the lack of pay transparency only serves white men. It serves, nobody else serves nobody else. That lack of pay transparency is what contributes to a gap in gender pay. That's what keeps people of color not making the same that you know that. It's the lack of transparency. So if you ask me what I make an hour, I am absolutely going to tell you every single time now during the crisis contract, they did ask us not to talk about what we're making. While we're at work, and I get it, it was three and four times what these other nurses were making. I get that, right. And so and so because of that with and like we said, I was there to support the nurses. So I show up and I'm making four times that you're making? Absolutely, I'll help you bathe your patient. Absolutely. I'll go get your medications. Absolutely. I'll stay late, because you needed to finish something and I'm going to help you do it. Absolutely. Every time. I also worked my ass off, because I know I make it more. Right. I tried to buy, I tried to buy him, I bought dinner, like every pay day, I would try to buy dinner for the unit, right? Because I'm making great money. But without that transparency factor, figured into pay rates. And my husband and I have this argument all the time. So but you know, so what if some one guy doesn't negotiate? Well, you know, so he doesn't negotiate? Well, so the company, they're always gonna want to pay the least right? Because they're making they're there to make money. In any scenario. Then, so I'm doing the same job. But I didn't, I didn't use the right words. And I didn't use the right phrasing. And so I don't get the same. I don't get the higher offer with the same skill set. You know, so pay transparency to me, obviously, that that gets me going, Brooke, but

Brooke Smith
like, there's a lot to talk about there.

Jenney
Yeah, yeah, there's so much and well, I would

Brooke Smith
just say for anyone listening or watching, like, shoot for the moon, you know, when you're going in to negotiate for yourself, don't be afraid to ask don't be afraid to ask for a raise knowing Know your value Know your worth advocate. Because no, absolutely. You know, and that, you know, you can only control what you can control. And it sounds like from what you're saying the best way to combat inequality and pay and is by standing up for yourself and knowing your worth and your value and saying this is what I'm asking for. If you're not going to give it to me, there's another place that will or just negotiate that because you never know unless you ask. Right? Right? No, which is the no you already have anyway.

Jenney
Right? And right now, there's so many jobs out there the best position to be in I've heard two things. One is don't negotiate if you're not willing to walk away. Right? Because if you don't get it, then then you're gonna have to go look for something else. My other favorite phrase is I was looking for a job when I found this one. Right. And as a nurse, we're in a great position right now. There's jobs everywhere, so I can

Brooke Smith
definitely not a lack of need, nor where Will there ever be. So can we always sick. Yeah, yeah.

Jenney
Yeah. And I was just in a scenario recently where I was asked to not mention a pay scale or a job offer or you know, that involved a bonus kind of thing. And but she's, you know, that was say she's asked me to keep it between her HR and me. And I was like, I can't guarantee that I'll do that. She said, I'm sorry. Yeah, I, I'm unwilling to tell you that I will keep this between you and I.

Brooke Smith
Yeah. Isn't it funny though? Secrets never end? Well, like, oh, no, ever. No one's ever asking you to keep a secret. For a good reason. Ever, really, I mean, the truth will set you free. It's a quote for a reason. secrets are meant to keep us separated, they're meant to keep us from elevating ourselves from it comes from a selfish place, like asking someone to keep a secret about what they're making, is only protecting, like you said, is protecting the hospital from having to shell out more money to maybe the nurses that they should be paying more, because maybe that nurse is new and doesn't know better or hasn't learned these lessons yet. And maybe if she knew, well, this other new nurse over here, who has just as much experience as me, or maybe I have more, is making a lot more than me, I should have, I should ask for a raise. Yeah, they don't want because they're trying to get by? Yeah. So at the end of the day, it's business. And that's what they're doing. But the best way that we as is just as a working people in general, it can pertain to anyone is just to say, know your value, don't be afraid to ask for it. And basically, never need something. You know, what I mean by that is never have the mentality of I need this job always have the mentality of abundance of like you said, I was looking for a job when I found this one, there are going to be other opportunities, and you can't find something better for you. If you're stuck somewhere that you don't belong. you know,

Jenney
yeah. Oh, yeah, absolutely. And I think too, and, and we have the negotiation session in our conference. And that was, we got so much feedback from that. And at the first conference, because it was just, it's tangible. And she gives you the speaker, her name is Jennifer as well. She Jennifer gives you hands on tangible steps to take when you're negotiating. And one of the things that she said that I was like, that's such a brilliant, it's so simplistic and also so brilliant. What, you let them come to you with a number, you don't present a number first. And when they ask you what you want, your response is, I want what's fair. I want to be fairly compensated. And then that can start the conversation about numbers so that they know. And it's so simple, but it's just speaks volumes, right? What do I want? I fair, you're gonna pay me? What's fair compensation for my skill set?

Brooke Smith
Absolutely. Did nurses ever have, like liaison, a person that would negotiate for them kind of like an actor would have an agent to negotiate the rate? Is there? Is there that happening at all? Are you pretty much just all on your own?

Jenney
I am unaware of one. I know, there's probably scenarios in states where nurses where there's nurses, unions, you know, there's that I know that and I'm not well read on unions. So I don't know the whole process, Brooke but I know that that's one of the benefits of a union is higher rates, because you do have somebody coming in and negotiating rates, you know, accepted rate levels is my understanding of that process.

Brooke Smith
Can more empathetic type of careers, generally healthcare is a very empathetic career, you have want to help people be there for them care for them, be there for their most vulnerable moments, make it your it's not an easy job at all. It takes a certain kind of person, a certain kind of heart. And I feel like I can't help but feel like in similar career paths where it takes a lot of heart or a certain kind of kindness or generosity and a person that there is this kind of blanket of taking advantage of that. And so nurses who are have those qualities or doctors or anyone. Yeah, like you're gonna be less inclined to say, hey, you know,

Jenney
yeah, and there's and there's a lot of information out there. And I think, again, this is one of the things that I think is shifting. But women in particular are not known for negotiating well for themselves. Right. But if a woman has to negotiate or advocate for her family, for her child for her co workers, then she's a force to be reckoned with. Yeah, ciao. Absolutely. Right, right. But in terms of, and I think some of that there's a lot of layers to that too, right? Knowing your own worth, and being confident in saying, This is my skill set. This is what I'm bringing into the table. I'm always paid for what I am capable of doing. You're paying for what I am capable of doing. You know, if I just cleaned poop five times, and I didn't run a code, and I didn't save anybody's life that day. Did I

Brooke Smith
think poop i

Jenney
That doesn't that doesn't bother me Do not snot on me, it's not coming out is my that's my kryptonite. But I'm playing football all day long. But you know, so there's some days where, you know, did I earn that higher level? I don't know. I don't know. But the point is, I'm I was capable that same day, of performing at that higher level, and that's what you're paying me for. You're compensating me for my skill set, you shift that perspective. And when you're negotiating for me to be compensated for my skill set, not my worth as a person and who I am. And you know, because I think that is where that you, if you get that emotion in there, it becomes difficult to negotiate for yourself, right? And I'm the worst, this is a skill, I'm still learning, right? Because I, you can give me a number and I'll think, Okay, well, if it's only 40 an hour, and then I can do this, I'll Okay, so but if I worked four days a week instead of three, then that would make up the difference. You know, I try to make what they're giving me work. And it just doesn't sometimes, you know, so being able to come back and say, but I think for me, that shift in mindset advocating for myself is this is my go to, because because I'm a mom, but it doesn't even it doesn't have to be your kids. As a, you don't have to be a parent, but you're negotiating. They're paying you for your time away from the rest of your life. So you're gonna negotiate, this is the time that you're taking, that I'm gonna miss the T ball games, and I'm going to miss piano lessons. And I'm not going to be there to do homework at night. Or I'm missing time with my elderly parents, or I'm missing a trip with my college buddies, or I'm missing that fantastic hike. I've been planning and I want to go on, right. So when you're negotiating, it's that I think it's important to recognize that you're negotiating for not just your skill set, but the time away from the rest of your from the things that matter. time away from the things that matter in my life is going to cost you X amount of dollars. For me, personally.

Brooke Smith
Yeah, I think it's a great perspective. I think it's you're really spot on with making people understand what exactly it is they're negotiating for. Because you can get lost and it can become emotional, but it's not. It's not emotional. Yeah, exactly what you're talking about. Yeah, have any tips, tricks, hacks for either nursing students or nurses who are in the field now or people who want to be nurses, anything that you can kind of give a little throw? Little, little golden nugget, our way?

Jenney
Oh, I love this question, Brooke. And I've, I read this book, all I ever needed to know, I learned in kindergarten. And he, the author talks about a scenario where he's watching kids in his neighborhood, out from his office window, he's watching the kids in the neighborhood play hide and go seek. And this kid has hidden under the leaves under a bush. And they can't find him. And so the other kids are looking and they're looking and they can't find him, they can't find him. And so rather than keep looking, he's hidden so well, he's ruined the game. And so the kids are, they're losing interest, and they're just going to go play a different game because they can't find him. It's not any fun anymore. And so they're just losing interest. And so they're not going to keep looking for him. And so the author says he finally opens the window. When he yells out at the kid, he says, Get found good. You need to get found. And so the lesson in that for me at the time, and it's it has served me well my entire life. You have to speak up to get found. You can hide really well in front of everybody. But nobody's coming for you. At some point, they're going to stop looking for you. You have to get found. And as a young nurse, that means you got to speak up when you're burnt out, or when you're overwhelmed, probably not burned out in that scenario when you're overwhelmed. And or when you have a question, you got to get found. You got to speak up and Tell your charge nurse, I got to step off the unit for 10 minutes my brain spinning. Or, or say this, I'm in waters too deep. I need help with this patient I need help. I don't I don't get the whole picture. I need I need help understanding this you can ask a doctor that right? Older nurses that have. I'm an older nurse without most people think I come to the unit with 25 years experience, right? Because I'm older than everybody on the unit. I don't, I've only I only have 13 years of experience. So. So when I say older nurses, I mean, more experienced nurses and older nurses, I think our problem, my advice there and my tips and tricks would be get found. Because the older nurses, the more experienced nurses, they're the worst, that hiding too well. Right. And so and and it's alienating and isolating, and that doesn't serve anybody well. So my biggest tip is to get found pandemic was this huge magnifying glass on all this wrong with health care, right. And it's more than just stress and burnout. That's a whole nother podcast, Brooke with health care in America, but nobody's coming for you. And the reasons aren't personal. If you're on fire yourself, you can't see anybody else's smoke, right? Like you can't see through the flames to see what's going on around you. And everybody else is in the same scenario. So the reasons nobody stopped to ask you how your shift was, aren't because they don't like you. It's nothing personal. It's because they were getting through their own shift. And so I think it's incredibly important. And so so so so much value my experience as in my adult life, I can tell you so many scenarios where I was the first to speak up about something. And then women would come out of the woodwork. People would come out of the woodwork. I experienced that same thing. Oh yeah, this is how I did it. Oh yeah, postpartum. That's a great example. When I had postpartum after my fourth kid, I didn't have it with any of the other three. My fourth kid I have postpartum I have this depression that I don't know how to process or get through. When I finally spoke up and just said, I am drowning over here like I you know, then all these women came through, oh my gosh, yes. With my third I had this and then I had you know, so once you speak up and advocate for yourself, it makes it okay for everybody around you. Now, everybody can have postpartum depression. I'm just kidding. But you don't mean so then you get that conversation going.

Brooke Smith
Hiding is the most lonely thing you can do. Hiding, lying and isolating more gonna make you feel more alone. It's gonna make the feelings worse. I love get found. That's gonna be my new motto Robert Fulghum. It's really great advice. Okay, so I want to ask you, do you have someone who inspires you? Or do you have anybody in your life that kind of I'm sure you're motivated by your children and your family, your husband. But when you think about what you want to contribute to the role where you want to be what you want to emulate? Is there a person that comes into mind or an idea or anything that you kind of like look up to and say like this is, this is what I want to say at the at the end of all of this, this is what I want to say I accomplished even

Jenney
Hmm, it's a great question, Brooke. Right off the top of my head, one person does not come to mind. But I can tell you, the the people that inspire me are gritty, tenacious people, and I love meeting and talking with people who have put themselves in a scenario to leave a legacy. Right? That is so that is so inspirational to me, because I think, you know, like you're saying at the end of the day, when when we're all turning the desks and six feet under, are they going to remember? Are they going to remember that I started next level nursing on me, but I Are you. You know, I think that's the most inspiring thing to me is those people who are leaving a legacy and that does didn't mean rich people with yachts. That's not to me. That's not what I'm talking about that could be, I'd be a great legacy.

Brooke Smith
impact people remembering you affecting people, yes, yeah, shame making a positive change in their lives. And leaving something behind that, that guides people towards continuing that growth and that journey.

Jenney
And as a nurse, you meet so many different people all walks of life, obviously, she started literally with like, a stray dog or a random animal that she rescued. And she kept it in her house. And in that was in her early 20s, and hardcore animal rights activist person, you know, personality wise, that's her thing. And she has a 300 acre animal preserve, north of here, like she grew her passion into, you know, this massive thing where, you know, they take, you know, animals from circuses, and, you know, cast off animals and strays and hurts and, you know, and but that was her passion, and that's the legacy she's left. You know, that's what so those people, like I say, I don't have to have anything in common with them. But it's always inspiring to me, the legacy that people are leaving. Yeah, I think that's where

Brooke Smith
you're doing that. I mean, you're doing that with next level nursing, you're starting something on your own entrepreneurialship of creating a community of people that inspires, motivates, helps advises, you know, teaches all of the all of these people whose lives will be affected by next level nursing, and it's only going to grow. You know, your thank you,

Jenney
Brooke, I appreciate that.

Brooke Smith
The Is this the Third? Third year you're doing it? Because you had to skip a year?

Jenney
Yeah, so we did 2020 conference. 2021 We did the writing contest. And then 2022 We're doing conference. Yeah. So really excited.

Brooke Smith
Yeah. Are there any social media handles or anything for next level? Nursing? Oh,

Jenney
thanks for asking. Yes, absolutely. Instagram is next level with no vowels in @NXTLVLRN. And you could obviously search next level nursing, it'll come up on Instagram as well. Facebook next level nursing.

Brooke Smith
So is it is because I know it's next level rn.com www.nextlevelrn.com And then Facebook is next level nursing. Correct. Okay, thank you, too. I want to know, like, how did you come across? MDF instruments? Oh,

Jenney
because I needed a stethoscope. Yeah. So I have had, I have my original stethoscope. That was a gift to me. When I graduated nursing school, and it the tubing, cracked and dry it and I didn't know why. So I didn't want to buy that brand again. And actually, I haven't used it in a long time. So I went a long time in that. I probably went like a year and a half without my own stethoscope because they grow legs in the ER, like if you set them down, they walk away. It's just grow legs. So when I was looking for another stethoscope, I came across MDF instruments when I was doing my search. And I like the bits reasonably priced for a great stethoscope. And that, you know, like for a nurse, I don't want to spend $500 or $400 I don't need to like I have the procardia If I'm not wrong, I think I have the pericardial. And for me, I need I needed to hear well in a busy ER or like when you're running a coat. I hate having to like press it down. So I make sure I'm getting good breath sounds or you know where I shoving it in my ears to make sure I'm getting a good sound.

Brooke Smith
Are you involved in any organizations or nonprofits or anything like that?

Jenney
You know what I? I did, I actually ran the chapter, a friend of mine in Dallas who's a nurse, and she will actually be on our entrepreneur panel. Her name is Mindy. She started a nonprofit community outreach program in Dallas. It's called the blessing project. And I kept seeing her on social media and Dallas and San Antonio about six hours apart. And I always want to go up there to be involved in some of her activities. Because my soft spot is the homeless. I'm always I'm always gonna give you five bucks if you're standing on the corner. Even if you're buying a beer, I'm still gonna give you the five bucks. But and the older I got, the more I realize being involved my I've my $5 given to the guy on the corner is no but to me that's do it, don't do it. I don't judge anybody for not doing it or doing it. But what I've realized is, as I've gotten older, it doesn't solve the problem, right? Like I'm not, you know, I bought him a beer, I bought him a hamburger, or whatever I've done that day. But I haven't solved this problem. And I haven't contributed to a solution. And so watching Mindy grow her business and work with her husband on that was super inspiring to me. And so I reached out to her. She was with us on the first conference. And then I, we started the chapter for the blessing project in San Antonio. And I was the director for that. So we did a handful of projects. So we did a handful of drives where we selected household goods for families that have recently got out of homelessness, and have their own place now, but now you have all of the supplies you need. So we did a drive where we donated all of those things. We did one for just Halloween costumes for kids that are in a shelter, or just don't have the money for the Halloween costume. So I loved that kind of stuff that feeds my soul. fills my cup. That's, that's my jam. And then the pandemic hits, and my gym was sleeping and, and recovering from being a nurse. And so I I backed way off, and I haven't done a drive for an event for the San Antonio chapter. Has it been not quite a year? I did one. Yeah, I know. It's been a year last spring, I did one. And I think that was the last time that I did one. So now that I have the conference kind of lined out and still doing that not requiring as much as my time. I'm looking forward to doing more events and drives in the fall when I have the time and the brain space for it. And I think that I think that's essential for nurses is to find a way that you can that you can give back without a way to give back that fills you up. That doesn't take more from you. Because our job

Brooke Smith
your job is giving back.

Jenney
Yeah, I think that so I think that sometimes. I don't know if it makes nurses feel guilty, but it's just not always a fair expectation of nurses because that is our job. Yeah, does that make sense? But for me, I love that. That part of being involved in a community.

Brooke Smith
That's awesome. Well, Jenny, thank you so much for joining our crafting wellness podcast.

Jenney
Oh, thank you, Brooke. This was fantastic. Appreciate your support. We're excited to work with MDF instruments.

Brooke Smith
Yeah, we're excited for your next level interesting events.

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