This opinion piece from Lifespark CEO Joel Theisen in MedPage is driving a lot of conversation about nurses in health care – some who agree and some who don’t. Joel’s biggest point in writing this piece was to point out the opportunity and possibility nurses have to look at their career beyond the bedside into leadership roles where they can directly influence the change needed in health care. It’s not for every nurse, but many are capable of leading and delivering the solutions with a compassionate perspective.
Joel shared that he started out as a nurse because he was more interested in people than numbers. “As the son of a blue-collar lumberyard worker in rural Wisconsin, I was expected to help out when family and friends needed it.” said Joel. “My grandpa and aunt moved in with us, and I learned to appreciate the wisdom — and medical challenges — of people as they grow older.
Helping people with life challenges was so rewarding that I pursued it as a profession. As the first in my family to graduate from college, I was grateful for the academics but soon realized that some of the most important lessons on campus were about life. I was the only male in my nursing school graduating class. It was normal for me to be surrounded by women and led by women — it is such an eye-opener to work in a field dominated by another gender. Frankly, it made me a different man.”