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Are You Thinking Like an Employee or a BOSS?

February 10, 20234 min read

Do you ever ask yourself, “am I thinking like an employee or a boss?” 

It’s a good question to ask as you begin to transition from employee to boss. 

As nurses, we were mentally conditioned. It begins in nursing school where we have to conform to the ideas of what nursing looks like to the educational system. When I was in school, tattoos were the abomination of the profession, according to the instructors. Our hair was told to be off our uniform collar. How dare your hair touch the uniform bell collar! I can remember wearing nurses’ caps! Nothing screamed “I'm a student'' louder than a nurse's cap. 

A lot has changed since those days. I think the majority can agree it hasn't changed for the better, unfortunately. Did you ever wonder where such rules come from? 

When you're in any healthcare system, you are at the mercy of such rules. This could be a hospital, surgery center, medical office or long-term care facility. Anything where you are the employee vs. the boss, you fall under the myopic lens of your surroundings. When that happens, you tend to see your surroundings as they are - be it good or bad. It’s hard to see things for how they could be or what possibilities there are for your life, especially your professional life. 

One thing I noticed when health care changes began to take place was the “go along” culture that existed among the nursing staff. I remember phrases like, “they make the rules we have to adhere to them.” I remember questioning a lot of what was happening. With every question, I received a push back from management. I've always had a foreshadowing brain. The changes at that time may have appeared small in the beginning to staff, but not to me. I could see how those small changes could turn into big non-negotiables for me as time went on. And over the years they did.

Nurses are being asked to do things that go against their moral code of ethics. When you're an employee, you may not have the freedom to choose. However, as a business owner, you decide the rules, standards and processes. Changing your mindset will be difficult in the beginning, especially when you're surrounded by so many who think like an employee instead of a boss. So how do you shift the mentality? 

First, think beyond the borders of the institution. The purpose of such institutions is to keep you in line and boxed into their system. It’s for this very reason they don’t show you what could be out there for you. I can’t tell you how many nurses message me to say, “I asked my boss about becoming a foot care nurse and was told I couldn’t do it without a certification.” It honestly makes me laugh at this point. These confabulations are exactly what nurse managers want you to believe. They push the “you need a certification” to further the do-anything narrative at every opportunity. It’s just not the reality. 

Thankfully the truth is coming to light. Nurses are doing their own research and learning just what powers they hold without advanced degrees or certifications. These lies exist to keep you boxed into their system. It’s like the Wizard of Oz … don’t look over there behind the curtain! 

Honestly, I was always one to sneak out to look behind the curtain. Blame it on my burning desire to thrive and expand beyond the walls of the hospital, but I had to learn what the possibilities were for me beyond what my boss saw for me. 

How can anyone grow and thrive in an environment that is so limiting? You have to start looking at everything through a different lens. I would look at things from an analytical perspective from my employer’s lens, as well as my own. I began to define what I wanted for myself … not what best fit my boss’s agenda for me. 

Start to change your perspective for yourself by exploring, what could your life look like with all of these institutional rules? What would you do if there were no rules defining what you could do?

When you are free to think big picture (no matter how crazy it is!), the possibilities are endless. How many products or services have been brought to market that people just couldn’t imagine being possible?  You can always scale back your nurse business to reality as you begin to build. Just know the sky's the limit because you are in control.

Learn more about starting a successful nursing business with the help of The Foot and Nail Institute®.

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Heather Wilson is a former bedside nurse turned nurse entrepreneur. She is the owner of Everyday Divinity, and the Foot and Nail Institute.

Heather Wilson

Heather Wilson is a former bedside nurse turned nurse entrepreneur. She is the owner of Everyday Divinity, and the Foot and Nail Institute.

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