Nurse Yourself ~ Coming to The Nursing Way

Jun 04, 2024

Nurse Yourself is a coming home for Nurses to a regular practice of soul care. Soul Care takes one beyond self-care, going deeper, focusing on nourishing the innermost aspects of one’s being. It involves activities and practices that connect you with your core values, purpose, and sense of meaning. Soul Care is about tending to the spiritual and existential dimensions of life. The primary aim of Soul Care is to nurture a deep sense of peace and fulfillment. It is about aligning your life with your own deeper values and purpose, fostering a sense of wholeness and authenticity.

As Nurses, we are so many things to others. We are healers, caregivers, nurturers, light carriers, and lovers who care deeply for the greatest good for all. We are called to this noble profession to perform sacred acts of service to humanity. The profession of Nursing asks us to care with endless compassion and empathy for others. In today’s world, we are trained to give and give and give, even at the cost of self. It is not uncommon for us to give up our own basic needs - hydration, elimination, nourishment, and more for the well-being of others. If we are not careful, over time we end up with nothing left to give, sometimes to the point of losing our self.

We are all aware of the importance of self-care in maintaining physical, mental, and emotional health. Going beyond self-care to Soul Care is about maintaining the well-being of one’s spirit. To gain the value that lives within self-care and Soul Care, one must integrate practices into routines that cultivate their benefits. For some this may include letting go of any misconceptions that focusing on self is a “selfish act”. It may not even be a misconception that is one’s barrier, it may be that it just seems easier to care for others than self.

It is so important to remember, that one cannot give from an empty cup, for it is there that things like depletion, compassion fatigue, and burnout live. This is where Soul Care comes in. It is through attending to our deeper values and purpose that we can replenish and fill up our own cup. This not only gives us the energy to invest in basic self-care, but it also shifts our caregiving of others from a place of depletion to a place of abundance. A win for all!

From life comes life. When you attend to the needs of your body, mind, and spirit you become fully alive, capable of therapeutic listening, being authentic, and holding space for self and others. Doors are then open to innovation, creative thinking, and discovery for the highest good of all. When you are supporting yourself to be your best, you can then support others to be their best. When you are loving yourself, you can love others from a place of wholeness.

While we are Nurses, we are also human beings who deserve to be cared for, heard, seen, and loved. We deserve to care for ourselves unapologetically. This is why we have created this new program on The Nursing Way. So that we can help each other to embrace the mindset and practices that will support the wholeness of who we are. By investing in ourselves, we can become role models and advocates for the change that is needed across healthcare.

Through Nurse Yourself events you will be invited to invest in yourself, nurture and love yourself, surrounded by others on the same path. You will experience the abundance of energy and joy that comes from giving time to the wonder and uniqueness of who you are.

 

About our Nurse Yourself Host ~ Erica Hooper, DNP, RN, CNS, CNL, PHN

Erica Hooper has a personal mission in life to be of service for the healing and transformation of others for the greatest good of all. Her love for holistic healing is evident as she is a certified HeartMath trainer, massage practitioner, reiki master, life and spiritual coach, vinyasa yoga teacher, healing circle facilitator, and certified personal trainer. She founded Heart Luminations to reflect her mission of igniting one heart at a time. Erica uses the power of the heart to intuitively guide people toward their own truth, growth, and healing. She is dedicated to helping nurses to nurse themselves to have thriving careers in healthcare and fulfilling lives.

Erica has been a Registered Nurse since 2002 working in the areas of geriatrics, pediatrics, primary care, public health, adolescent health, international health, leadership, program and project development, innovation, research, and education. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Health Care Systems Leadership from the University of San Francisco (USF). She also has a Master of Science in Nursing in Advanced Community Health and International Nursing with a minor in Education from the University of California San Francisco.

Erica is currently working as a Regional Program Director of the Caritas Coach Education Program for the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Nurse Scholars Academy. Erica has been teaching nursing at the University of San Francisco (USF) since 2005 where she currently co-teaches a wellness course grounded in Caring Science to provide undergraduate health professions students with the knowledge, understanding, and practice of self-compassion and caring as the foundation for holistically caring for others.

Like many Nurses, Erica was called to the nursing profession to care for people. Naturally, her Nursing journey led her to become a Caritas Coach in 2019 where she was finally gifted with the language that spoke to the way she truly desired to practice. Becoming a Caritas Coach helped her undo much of what she was taught so she could step into being, causing her to become more authentic, vulnerable, compassionate, and loving. She now serves to spread Caring Science to others so as many as possible may benefit both personally and professionally.

Erica has a special passion for promoting the health and wellness of vulnerable populations. She has expertise working with juvenile justice system-involved youth for 10+ years with extensive experience using the healing arts to provide the youth with alternative outlets to healing. She also enjoys writing and is a published author. Her greatest joy is her three children who consistently teach her that the greatest gift you can give anyone is your presence.