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Joining Forces to Change Healthcare

February 10, 20233 min read

With nursing being the state it is, it's not uncommon to find or even seek solace with those who seem to be making waves or inspiring change in healthcare.

There are plenty of “changemakers” out there, especially among social media platforms. However, are you familiar with what they are about? 

Those who make the most noise aren’t always the most effective. In fact, there is an old quote “the loudest one in the room, is the weakest one in the room.” Social media can be a great resource to share, collaborate, or get initiatives started. However, it may come at a price, and who is paying the price? 

A lot of nurses have lost jobs or have faced punitive damages as a result of joining forces with those who don’t always have their best intentions at heart. This may be related to speaking out against a faulty healthcare system or speaking out against another person. Or, it may be the result of joining an organization that is not legally structured properly. People will jump on the loudest train in support of that cause because they believe this is the only way to make changes. 

Be careful who you hang with, as my mom always said.  

An organization that enters in the fight of fighting for the nurses is a business, or at least they should be structured as one. Just as healthcare is a business … a very BIG business. Nurses are a large part of that business, but the decision makers that affect nursing are most often not the nurses themselves. 

Insurance companies, government entities, health (nursing/medical) associations and hospital systems are the business of healthcare, and they hold the keys to that business - NOT the nurses. 

As you begin to look at joining organizations, begin to ask yourself, what is the goal for this initiative or cause you are joining? What has the organization achieved thus far? Do your due diligence, and research their websites. What are the terms and conditions of the organization? Are appropriate legal processes in place? Are they a registered nonprofit, if so, how are funds allocated? 

Nurses are quick to join causes because we lack a deeper understanding of how businesses work legally, and we can get into hot water if we aren’t careful.   

Beyond the business goals of any organization, you must also look at the personal goals of the founders; theirs and yours. Are you, as an individual even considered in this fight or are you being pulled into something as an accomplice. Sometimes, people or groups are just looking for followers for the cause … “their cause.” However, their cause may not align with your beliefs. 

Nurses can get so excited to be involved in a movement that they lose sight of what is really going on. A lot of emotion is packed into the healthcare industry, now. After 11 years of owning a nursing business, I have learned you cannot allow emotion to drive your decisions. These emotions are often what drives attention towards these groups and can be what grows their momentum. That momentum without proper direction can crash and burn. Therefore, it is important to research, educate yourself and to communicate. 

Communicate and ask questions of the organizers. If someone gets defensive, can’t give you a straight answer or their stories are ever changing, these are red flags to be aware of. 

As nurses, we want to believe everyone has the best intentions in place, but bear in mind, those intentions can be lost quickly, especially if the organization or leader is riding the wave of attention. Once you understand just how BIG the business of the healthcare system is, you realize how big the fight to make any changes is going to be. Be wary of who you enter that fight with.

Learn more about growing 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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