StaffGarden Interviews: Elizabeth Scala

by: Mike Aliter

The StaffGarden blog, just like our ePortfolio, is about being a resource to every nurse. That’s why we’ve committed to finding the very best nurse bloggers and sharing their expertise with you.

Elizabeth Scala is a nurse, blogger, speaker, author, and more! Her program, The Art of Nursing, has reached 1000’s of nurses. This digital program provides busy nurses with practical tips for stress reduction, improved mindfulness, time management, and more!

Before her 1st post, “Show Up as a CNO in Your Nursing Career” will be on our blog later this week, but we wanted to share this interview. Enjoy!

Frist let me start by saying how excited we are that you are a StaffGarden contributor!

StaffGarden: Welcome to the team, tell me a little bit about your career as a nurse.

Elizabeth Scala: Well- to start off, I am thrilled and excited to say… I am celebrating my eleventh year as a nurse- this month! I actually didn’t want to be a nurse… well, not ‘didn’t want to’… it just never crossed my mind. I was on track to do something in the field of psychology and ready to go to graduate school when my college roommates, a nursing professor, and my mom all put their heads together and said: “Why don’t you go to nursing school!?!” Not knowing what else to do at the time, I decided to give it a try. So after graduation, I stuck with my passion- psych- and went to work at The Johns Hopkins Hospital on a general adult psych unit. After five years, around the time I was graduating with my dual masters’ degrees, I decided it was time for a change. I worked at a gym, as a nurse, running a physician referral exercise program. Most recently, my career has shifted into nursing administration in a research coordinator role. But what’s near and dear and closest to my heart is what I’ve been up to for the past five years… I’m a grateful, hard-working and visionary nurse entrepreneur.

SG: Are you currently working as a nurse?

ES: Yup. I work part-time in the research role. I like to keep that work so that I can continue to stay relevant to the issues in nursing and healthcare. It’s fun to go out to nursing units and help nurses think about get excited to do research.

SG: We love your website elizabethscala.com! you post some amazing content there. Can you telling me what ‘Nursing from Within’ is?

ES: Oh, certainly. Nursing from Within™ is my signature system. I’ve taken everything I teach and put it into four simple steps that

Nursing from Within: A Fresh Alternative to Putting Out Fires and Self-Care Workarounds

Nursing from Within: A Fresh Alternative to Putting Out Fires and Self-Care Workarounds

help nurses make inner shifts to more fully enjoy their external environments. Sure, we need our managers, employers, and even the profession to do things to take care of us at work- AND we need to stay accountable to our own health and happiness. By going through the Nursing from Within™ process, a nurse can take a difficult situation, reframe it, and come out on the other side looking at things with a more positive eye. Nursing from Within™ helps nurses cope with change, handle challenges, and enjoy their careers… despite the chaos that may be happening all around them.

SG: You’re one busy nurse these days! Beyond writing for your blog and writing some amazing books, what else are you working on?

ES: OY! You said it. Lately, I feel that I have so much going on… which is all good! So I sat down and really focused on the question: “What are your main areas of work? What are the ‘pillars’ of your business?” So, great question- since I’ve done this myself. Let’s see- I podcast. Or should I say, I LOVE to podcast. I host my own show, Your Next Shift, which is a nursing career podcast as well as co-host the RNFM Radio program. I also travel and give talks and presentations to nurses, but my main passion is my Nurse’s Week program- The Art of Nursing. This is an annual online event that provides nurses the gift of professional development and personal growth (as well as contact hours, yay!) during Nurse’s Week. It’s been so much fun, extremely well received, and has touched thousands of nurses across the country.

SG Is there an overall theme of what you like to write/talk about:

ES: I’d say perspective. I mean, I enjoy writing about self-care, resilience, and work life balance. Yet, to me, all of that cannot come without a personal look inside. We need to reflect on our thoughts, feelings and emotions on a routine basis. These inform the choices we make and the actions we take. If we float through the world in a distracted or unaware state- we are going to struggle and find ourselves unhappy and disengaged. So, for me, writing about these self-awareness (I guess you could say mindfulness) topics is most important. These sorts of topics infuse everything that we do.

The scariest place to be is after your nursing career ends and you don’t know who you are. [icon name=”twitter” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]

SG: So when you’re not working (and I’m not sure when that is) what are you doing with your off time?

ES:Trust me- even though I seem to be all over the place, all of the time… I make it a PRIORITY to have fun, down time. So- I have a LONG list of things I love to do. My garden- both inside and outside is key. Even in winter, I spend time nurturing my cactus and African Violet garden. (Check out any of my social media feeds and you’ll see me posting photos of my beloved flowers, smile.) I love my doggie and everything about him- taking him on long walks, sitting outside and sunning ourselves, or just playing and being silly in the house. I enjoy Yoga, Reiki, and all sorts of holistic practices. I love to cook, host parties, and travel. Gosh- I could go on and on… but I’ll close it up with my biggest passion: music. I just LOVE going to live shows and dancing my face off… my favorite band is a jam band named moe.

SG: Nurses work so much! How important is it to have hobbies outside of work?

ES: Hmm… see my response to the question above (LOL). It’s EXTREMELY important! Gosh, all work and no play makes for a very dull, unhappy, and exhausted nurse. I mean, I know that we love nursing because it is so rewarding to help other people. That’s what drives me to work hard on all of the projects I listed above. But you gotta get out there and find fun things to do. The scariest place to be is after your nursing career ends (or maybe it suddenly stops because of illness, injury, or layoffs) and you don’t know who you are and what you enjoy. I actually talked with a nurse like this- she came up to me after I gave a keynote at an event and said that my words were so powerful to her. She said that sadly she is about to retire and has no idea who she is. So nurses- it’s crucial that you have a life outside of work! You’ll be a better nurse for it. When you’re fully charged up, you can give and give and give to others.

SG: What would you say is the most common question you get on social media?

ES: Hmm… good question. I actually don’t think I get asked questions. Oh wait- I lie. Most people will ask me, “Gosh Elizabeth, I love what you’re doing. How did you get there?” So nurses want to hear about the training I’ve done or how to do the things I do. I guess there are more nurses out there looking to go out on their own and do their own thing… which is too cool!

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SG: What would you say to any nurse reading this who isn’t using StaffGarden currently?

ES: Use it! And I’m not just saying that because we’re doing this interview. Look- I am an extremely organized person. I have to be in order to juggle all of the above. I mean, I have spreadsheets upon spreadsheets, files upon files. I keep in touch with the guests on my podcast, the speakers in my online program, and all of my clients across the country. Why do I tell you this? Because that’s what I see is the HUGE benefit to using StaffGarden. It’s a simple way to get yourself organized. And a great way to professionalize your documents. They have templates, resources, and expert staff here to help you organize your career and stay in touch with potential employers in an easy, professional way. I mean… who wouldn’t want that as they think about making a career change or going for a promotion? And these days- with all of the change in healthcare- you gotta stay ahead of the competition. StaffGarden is a great resource to help you do just that.

SG: Thank you so much for being a StaffGarden user and sharing your knowledge with our users! We are really excited to have you!

ES: Oh, me too! It is such an honor to be a part of this team. I am excited about the future and all of the work we do together and am super grateful to be on board. Thanks for this great opportunity to reach and help even more nurses worldwide!

 

Author

Mike Altier

Mike Altier

Director, Digital Content

Enjoys his coffee with cream. Loves his bagels toasted. Mike is dedicated to developing content that is relevant to the nursing community. Contact at Mike@StaffGarden.com

 

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