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Empowering Health Professionals and Nurses Unlock Their True Potential
Episode

Deborah Hart,  Founder of the Entrepreneur Nursing Program

Empowering Health Professionals and Nurses Unlock Their True Potential

In this episode of the Outcomes Rocket Nursing, we are privileged to feature the amazing Deborah Hart, Founder of the Entrepreneur Nursing Program. She discusses how Entreprenursing is empowering health care providers and nurses to unlock their true potential and be their own boss. She shares her insights on the impact of the healthcare system to healthcare professionals, the importance of aligning skills and vision in day to day living, finding entrepreneurship as a nurse in or outside the health system, shifting mindset, and more. This interview is packed with exceptional insights on nursing and entrepreneurship, so make sure to tune in!

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Empowering Health Professionals and Nurses Unlock Their True Potential

About Deborah Hart

Deborah Hart MN NP the founder of EntrepreNursing. She is also a Board Certified Medical Aesthetics in the Canadian Board of Aesthetic Medicine. 

Deborah has over 30 years of experience delivering health care nationally and abroad. As a nurse practitioner, registered nurse, and medical assistant, she has experience in a variety of settings, including emergency and trauma education, research, rejuvenation, surgical care, cardiology, remote Arctic and volunteer nursing. She’s also a veteran, having both worked as a medic and a registered nurse for over 10 years with the Department of National Defence. For over seven years, she has been teaching for the Master of Nursing Nurse Practitioner at Athabasca University Faculty of Health Disciplines and has precepted registered nurses, nurse practitioners, medics, and other health care professionals in her practice since 1992.  This is in addition to some of her volunteer work as the chair of Nurse Practitioner Association of Nova Scotia (NPANS), Council for the Nurse Practitioner Association of Canada (NPAC), International Council of Nurses and Nurse Practitioners Advanced Practice Nurse Excellence and Research Education and Clinical Award Committee, Executive Organizing Conference Committee and Abstract of Europe, and The Nova Scotia Gambia Association Nova Scotia, Sierra Leone, the Provincial Nursing Network, Department of Health and other national and international associations.

Empowering Health Professionals and Nurses Unlock Their True Potential with Deborah Hart, CEO of First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic and Founder of the Entrepreneur Nursing Program: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Empowering Health Professionals and Nurses Unlock Their True Potential with Deborah Hart, CEO of First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic and Founder of the Entrepreneur Nursing Program: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Rebecca Love:
Hi! This is Rebecca Love with Outcomes Rocket Nursing, doing interviews with some of the most leading and innovative nurses around the world. And it is such an honor to bring to you today Deborah Hart, our first nurse visiting from Canada on the podcast. Deborah has been a primary emergency specialty care nurse practitioner and has been working and thriving as a health care entrepreneur for most of the past decade. As a founder of the Entrepreneur Nursing Movement, Deborah empowers overwhelmed health care providers to unlock their true potential, maximize their high skill set, provide excellence to their patients and rid themselves of the overwhelm and exhaustion they are experiencing within the sick care health care system. As a serial entrepreneur, she has successfully built and maintained four successful businesses, one having grown to seven figures throughout the current pandemic. Deborah has extensive knowledge on the subject and is always her pleasure to share with fellow health care professionals. Deborah has over 30 years of experience delivering health care nationally and abroad and the first independently owned and operated nurse practitioner clinics in Atlantic Canada. As a nurse practitioner, registered nurse, and medical assistant, she has experience in a variety of settings, including emergency and trauma education, research, rejuvenation, surgical care, cardiology, remote Arctic and volunteer nursing. She’s also a veteran, having both worked as a medic and a registered nurse for over 10 years with the Department of National Defence. Her experience has transitioned into primary and family health care via Atlantic Canada’s first collaborative emergency departments in 2012 after working in Canada’s Arctic and shortly thereafter shifted to entrepreneurship. She continues to give back to the health care professionals in our communities through the education of registered nurses and nurse practitioners. For over seven years, she has been teaching for the Master of Nursing Nurse Practitioner at Athabasca University Faculty of Health Disciplines and has precept registered nurses, nurse practitioners, medics, and other health care professionals in her practice since 1992. Now that is a legacy. This is in addition to some of her volunteer work as the chair of Nurse Practitioner Association of Nova Scotia (NPANS), Council for the Nurse Practitioner Association of Canada (NPAC), International Council of Nurses and Nurse Practitioners Advanced Practice Nurse Excellence and Research Education and Clinical Award Committee, Executive Organizing Conference Committee and Abstract of Europe, and The Nova Scotia Gambia Association Nova Scotia, Sierra Leone, the Provincial Nursing Network, Department of Health and other national and international associations. I mean, what an incredible bio and resume, Deborah. It is so great to have you on the show. Thank you for being here.

Deborah Hart:
Thank you so much, Rebecca, for having me. I have to say I so appreciate the opportunity to have the conversation and to share some conversations about nurses and nursing.

Rebecca Love:
Well, I mean, your past experience has gone the entire gamut of what one would assume could even be possible in health care. And I think that what I love is all of this variety, which people say variety is the spice of life. But what inspires your work in health and health care. Tell us a little bit about that?

Deborah Hart:
Well, overall, I’m just extremely passionate about being able to deliver exceptional care to patients. I have always enjoyed giving back. I love to give back and by the sounds of what you read through the bio there, most definitely there’s been. There’s been a lot of that, but I truly do enjoy being able to help others to be their best selves, and I’ve always been intrigued with health and wellness. I started my career in health care quite early at a very young age, and as it continues to grow and I meet more nurses and see more systems and applications for us and our skills as nurses, my inspiration just continues to grow and I know our job at the forefront and the very heart of our job of nursing is to be able to help people eliminate their health challenges, their pain, their issues. And we do that every day and without fail. And it’s never easy and we continue to show up. And I’m just so inspired by all of the nurses that I meet that day after day continue to show up. That’s what inspires me.

Rebecca Love:
You are absolutely right. Day after day, nurses continue to show up to eliminate the suffering that they’re seeing their patients and make health care better. And so I think for our audience if you could perhaps explain about how your organization, how you are adding value to the health care ecosystem because you’re doing some pretty innovative work and also leading some really new initiatives across Canada that I don’t think we’re seeing in the United States as an equal focus. So could you sort of step back and paint the picture of what you’re doing and how you’re sort of impacting adding value to the health care ecosystem in Canada right now?

Deborah Hart:
Well, certainly. So what my intention is and what I’ve been doing for the last number of years is helping to empower health care providers, nurses to be able to unlock some of that true potential that we really have. It’s an aid to us as nurses and then taught on top of that and to be able to unlock that potential in order to be able to maximize the high skill set that we have so that we can reach our potential, continue to provide excellent care to patients, and then help to rid ourselves of some of the overwhelm and the exhaustion that we’re experiencing within the health care system or the sick care system, truly, because that’s where a lot of our focus as nurses has been in the past and we continue to stay in that shift. And what we’ve recognized is that the skills that we do have as nurses are plentiful and amazing and continuous and ever-evolving. And with EntrepreNursing, we help to empower nurses to be able to become their own boss, which is a skill that often we don’t think of in that in being our own boss, becoming our own boss, and becoming an entrepreneur. We can start to value our own skills. We can be paid what we’re worth, and we can start to live out that whole vision of the life that we have and had for our career and our lives. And so we are here to be able to help those nurses who are ready for that change. That enables us to put both the skills and then our passion back into the work. Ultimately our job is to help nurses transform their career and their lives, to help them be successful and be able to do something that they loved. We do this every day and we’ve seen over the past number of years, pandemic excluded, that there’s been a lot of overwhelm in the system and the health care system has shifted in a lot of ways to a sick care system where we take care of a lot of illness and injury. And that, I think begins to cause a disconnect with us as nurses, as that holistic form of what it is that we do an illness and injury. Yes, that’s a huge component, but it’s not everything. And with that and that disconnect comes for lack of a better term dis ease. And it’s the dis ease and the disease that we are caught in quite often and that misaligned us, I think in those things that we know that ground us. Health, wellness, well-being, the holistic approach. And there had been so many. We’ve just we’ve experienced so much and we’ve there’s been so much research done on what’s happening with nurse burnout and focusing on the negative side of illness and injury care that we’ve been accustomed to. And when we look at that and start to see where that disconnect is the health and the wellness aspect and trying to get back into tune with that, we see that we’re better able to align our skills and our vision and then ourselves and our lives and how we’re feeling about our day-to-day. It kind of gets us back to that Maslow’s hierarchy. You know, we tend to look at the top when we’re within the system and making sure the top is well cared for. But if we don’t have that basic level of support and wellness within ourselves and the support and wellness of our colleagues and employers and systems, then we’ve really lost track of that base. And I think that’s where we’ve started to lose a bit of our footing. You know,

Rebecca Love:
Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. And I really liked that you had that play on where the disease in the health care center making more disease. And I think, you know, what’s interesting is when you’re talking about there is this general feeling in health care, regardless of where you are in the United States and Canada, abroad, in other countries across the world that health care has become sick care, that we are no longer focusing on this wellness aspect of keeping people healthy. And the only time that you’re treated is dealing with the actual disease or illness. And you know, that’s the idea of entrepreneurship in Canada. Being one of a socialized health care system is how we refer to it in the United States. It’s a very different kind of health care system than what we have in the United States. And I think there probably is a lot of questions around how does entrepreneurship fit into a system that is a socialized health care system and how what you are doing as entrepreneurs are doing things different and better than what is available today in the current health care system in Canada through this entrepreneurship movement?

Deborah Hart:
Yes. So for certain so there are some differences and similarities between Canada, the U.S., and globally. We all have our strengths and then we have those things that we are we’re working on to try to ensure that the system is better and what we tend to see I think regardless of the system in the country where in the globe it’s occurring, what we tend to see is that we have an influx of information, technology, diagnostics, Pharmaceuticals and all of those things into the system to help improve things, but when we look at it from a business standpoint, if we were to take that step back and say just simple business parameters if we were consistently putting so much money into technologies and systems and those sorts of things and the outcomes were consistently not improving, then there’s a disconnect that’s recognized. And I think sometimes we miss that disconnect in our health care systems, regardless of where they are. And we think, you know, bigger, better, shinier technology and all of these things is where we need to be. And this is the problem that isn’t the problem. The problem is that our health care systems, regardless of where they are, are themselves becoming overwhelmed. And I think there’s a struggle in trying to increase what’s there and available in order to overcome the issue. The issue is what’s occurring outside of the hospital, though, and when we’re not taking that step back and looking at health and wellness and keeping ourselves and nurses and the majority of health care professionals technically out of the hospitals, what happens is everyone and everything is in the hospital and that hospital system and many of those health care systems weren’t built to maintain all of that. They were there to step in when necessary when health and wellness took a shift and there was illness and injury. And unfortunately, we’ve almost developed a mindset as professionals and administrators and even the general public that health care is in the hospital. Health care is outside of the hospital. And so what I’ve realized and why I found it EntrepreNursing and was because once I discovered that I could use my nursing skills, all the things that I dedicated myself to acquiring through the years, be able to focus on wellness rather than illness, and then be able to thrive in my life as a result. Then that became my passion to be able to share that with as many nurses as possible. And I know that I’ve radically changed my life with this framework, and I know I can change the lives of many others with that, and I know as nurses we already have that skill set. We’re resilient, we’re reliable, we’re detailed, we’re resourceful, we’re always innovating. And whether we think of ourselves as innovators or not, we are always innovating. And again, those skills are innate to us and then we’re taught in our training. And those are the exact same skills that we need to be able to thrive as entrepreneurs.

Rebecca Love:
And I love this and tell us, because you’re absolutely right. Nurses constantly are innovating. They have the skill sets. It’s really educating the public about their skill sets. So tell us then where is an example of when you seen your nursing team or perhaps even one of the new entrepreneurs that you’ve been coaching to start their things? Could you give us an example of when they have provided a really great solution to a problem that appeared not to have an answer? So could you give us an example?

Deborah Hart:
Yeah, and that that’s a difficult one for me. Having had such a diverse background and front lines, E.R. and remote and urban and primary health, there are problems every day. And as nurses, I see nurses solving these problems every day because they’re innovators and they don’t even realize it. And it could be. It’s interesting because my colleagues will often hear me say MacGyver, and I’m not sure that everybody’s familiar with that term. But there used to be a show where this man, there was nothing that he couldn’t innovate, make out of my gosh, rock paper sticks and off he would go. And I thought, That’s a nurse. That’s a nurse. You could be you could need a particular type of bandage for a very simple example, a particular type of bandage for a certain wound. And it could be potentially stocked or not having been restocked on that floor. That department at that time and a nurse will not spend extra time trying to figure out that very particular portion but what can potentially work for that patient and will innovate to ensure that the patient gets the best possible health care at the best possible time with the best possible resources that they have at hand. They’re just constantly innovating, constantly providing solutions, and right down to the development of technology and apps and stepping on board for telenursing and then developing things that help patients with transfers or documentation. We’ve seen where documentation hasn’t been as stringent as we’d like it to be, and a nurse would step up and develop a form so that we have a more appropriate way to do it. Even a handover of shift, which while that might not seem like a hugely important piece of documentation, but it’s huge. It’s that whole health and wellness of that patient you’re taking care of and all of that information that needs to transfer to that next nurse. And so that whole knowledge translation happens. Technique translation happens, innovation just happens, it’s so ingrained that we sometimes, I think, miss seeing it because it’s happening so much in front of us.

Rebecca Love:
It is. It is so true. And I think that you know what you’re talking about and what you’ve been speaking about is all of those things that nurses know intrinsically because in their job, they’re doing it day in and day out and creating solutions to things that drive patient outcomes. Shift transition is one of the major areas that we’ve been able to track to in increased patient harm, poor outcomes, situations where there’s increased death. And it was not until nurses really started to come up with new processes to address these. So it’s not only to your point innovations of new technologies or devices, but if you look at hospitals and how they are operated internally now into the home care and everything that moves beyond, you’re looking at nurses who are driving new policies, new processes and new procedures that are driving really those incredible key moments. As we always say, it is the nurse who is with that patient the most of any provider in that space. That’s very important that they’re successful in being able to drive the services that they need to be successful.

Deborah Hart:
Extremely. Yeah. And one of the things that we’ve seen over time, unfortunate again, is that nurses are often seen as an expense to the health care system, and nurses are the greatest resource of any health wellness in the health care system. And I think we are beginning to recognize that. And having been under such pressure over this last year, plus now extreme pressure that we may have had tidbits of and portions of our daily lives and our daily work lives has come to a head and it’s been systemic and it’s been constant and consistent, and it’s built on a lot of the overwhelm that that was already in existence. And again, it’s nurses that have stepped up and stepped forward and again proven that they are the resources of this system, not just frontline and patient care and bedside nursing, but all of that innovation and documentation and seeing where things can improve and then how to improve them and what they are.

Rebecca Love:
And I know for everyone who is dealing with this across the world that the COVID pandemic has definitely challenged our health care system to the core and every aspect along those lines. And Deborah you know, as I’m looking back and looking at yourself, you have constantly reinvented, transitioned, move your career forward. And I think right now there is this sense of burnout for so many nurses and they’re thinking of leaving. And you, I’m guessing at points in your career have had setbacks or things that have potentially almost drove you out of the profession, but you’ve stayed. And I was hoping you could share one of those moments, one of those incredible setbacks in your life and what you took away from it, what you learned and why you kept going into the field of what you’re doing.

Deborah Hart:
Mm-hmm. So and very difficult for me to share, as I’m sure it is as many. And as you said, burnout is quite prevalent. And if the numbers of burnout are staggering enough, the numbers of nurses who are looking and thinking that they’re headed for burnout are staggering and this was pre-pandemic then insert pandemic. And so for me, not unlike, I’m sure a lot of nurses. One of my biggest setbacks was both personal and professional, and it was very intertwined. And what I had found was I was working in a health care system and the system itself is sick. And as I said, unfortunately, we’re seeing this across all different sectors of health care systems and hospitals and the environment with nurses. The environment I was in unfortunately had some likely unprepared managers and toxic managers, and they turned, unfortunately, instead of supporting each other, turned often more to bullying, and then one would in turn bully another. And then the middle managers in some cases would join with the if you can’t beat them, join them routine and instead of and likely as a compensatory and self-preservation, for sure. But what happened then was that I thought I would be able to be in a position to deliver care and in this particular position, I kind of hope until retirement. It wasn’t an easy position, but it was a very rewarding one and I really valued it and I valued being able to give back to others and the community that I was in. But it got to be too much and I ended up leaving that position and unfortunately, so too many others. I suffered tremendously. I felt I was leaving my patients. I felt like I was leaving my colleagues and leaving them with the support that they needed. And it was just it was such an environment and a realization that burnout in that place was inevitable and that in itself, I think, fed into one of my greatest ethical conflicts as a nurse. I’m here to care, but in that environment, I couldn’t, and I truly felt that that was going to be the end of my nursing career and I was absolutely devastated.

Rebecca Love:
What did you do, Deb? I mean, this is a situation I wish to say that I’ve heard infrequently, but there are so many nurses that have lived a very similar story. So what did you do? What did you do to recover from that?

Deborah Hart:
So what I what is that I could avoid it and other people can avoid it. And being able to do that was looking at being able to shift our career focus just to one or two different opportunities that again, that keep us and our patients out of the hospital and ultimately enabled me to achieve a work-life balance. That’s something that was, you know, predictable and consistent and outside of that sick care system. And I reflected on all of the skills that I gained as a nurse and all of the different aspects of experience that I have and looked at those skills and realized that there were so many different ways that we could apply those skills. And it didn’t have to be in the hospital system itself. And doing that reflection and going back to understanding the value of nursing just at its core, I think, is what helped me tremendously. We get into nursing, knowing and being told repetitively, there’s nothing that we can’t tackle as a nurse. The world is our oyster and everything that we learn and we go through. It’s like, Yes, and there’s more of this and we can do this and we can tackle this. And then by the time, sometimes even by the time we graduate, it often seems like we’re doing so with these blinders on. And then we can sometimes channel into that health care system and we see the hospital or the sick care is the only place to work. And that stems into those of us who educate those of us who do research. It all tends to shift into this sick care focus, and it’s almost like we’ve forgotten about that whole world of wellness and health and the holistic view of the patient. And then I realized I’d almost done that. I almost forgot about the world of wellness, right?..

Rebecca Love:
I love that you. That is that internal reflection and inflection. And you’ve mentioned it before in our conversation here today, which is all about mindset on finding where that nurturing.

Deborah Hart:
Truly is.

Rebecca Love:
And you also just mentioned, you know, when we leave nursing school as a new grad, our eyes are wide open. We’re excited about the future. We believe that the future of health care is our oyster. And so the question that, you know, if you were going to inspire all of these nurses who are on the verge of burnout, all of these nurses who are graduating into our profession and are hearing these horror stories in front of them. Can you share with them in the face of all of this what you are excited about today in health care and in nursing? And what gives you hope for the future?

Deborah Hart:
Well, so I said it. I think I said it actually as we started that its nurses and nursing that inspire me. And despite all of the struggles we keep showing up, and despite the burnout or the potential burnout, we still find a way to show up. Unfortunately, that can often be that we’ve left the career. And what I’m excited about is being able to tell nurses that that doesn’t mean to be an option. You don’t need to leave your nursing skills behind. You don’t need to leave your passion behind. Your health care career really can be enjoyable, and you can have great satisfaction in your work. You can enjoy free time, you can improve your wealth even in your life and your work. And we can and do and now need to know for ourselves that we can work smarter, not harder value over volume, and to be able to realign with our passion and to help others. We truly can do this, and I was in a place. I was in a place that I thought, Oh my, this is it. This truly is it. But what I know now, having come through that, is that you can powerfully realign with your passion, which is to help others. You can do that as an entrepreneur, which we don’t see a lot of globally, I think maybe only one percent of nurses or health care workers alone are in an entrepreneurial role. And while that, I’m sure, can seem overwhelming to many nurses with more, what am I going to have the time for this and how do I do that or learn a new skill or those things? They’re not new skills. We have them innately and when we can recognize and step back or and be supported, more importantly, be supported to know that you have that and to have someone stand there with you and help you to point that out when you know when we forget and we can’t see it for ourselves can help us to make a tremendous shift in our mindset and to realize that we can be entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs and we are innovators. And for those of us who want to remain within a hospital system or perhaps need to remain within a hospital system, there’s a role for that entrepreneurship in there, too. I think the terminology that has come to mind is that entrapreneurialism. It’s just a nurse. It’s and I don’t mean just a nurse because I don’t think there’s such a thing as just a nurse. They are so empowered and wonderful. But that nurse in you, that skill you have can be entrepreneurial within that system, which we also need and we need those entrepreneurs, those entrepreneurs outside of the system so that we can start taking some of that pressure off of the system, alleviate some of that sickness of the system and empower our colleagues within the health care system to be able to breathe and do what they need to do.

Rebecca Love:
It is true. It is the mindset of entrepreneurship that simply means and transcends either externally for you to start your own business or internally within your system, create new processes. So this has been so wonderful to talk to you. And if people want to find you, if they want to search you, they want to connect with you. Where can they find you? How can they connect?

Deborah Hart:
Oh yes, for sure. So you can find the EntrepreNursing thing on the social media channels, of course, on Facebook and on Instagram as well. I believe there will be a little link in the podcast Link that’ll bring you right to me. Entreprenursing.ca is a reachable site for us, for me as well, and certainly, you can reach out at any of those channels and again, probably on the bio. I think there might be a link to something as well. And in that link, there’s also documentation about some suggestions that we can do as nurses. So a few different opportunities and stuff because sometimes we just need that mindset shift to say, Oh, I do that, I know that I can do that.

Rebecca Love:
It’s absolutely one hundred percent and I encourage all of you to come over and check out. You look at those resources, connect, especially for our nurses across Canada who are bringing this new field to life, which is still relatively in its infancy, similar to what it is in the United States. But the world is changing and health care, and it is entrepreneurs like Deborah who are leading that. So Deborah, thank you so much for being with us today.

Deborah Hart:
My absolute pleasure, Rebecca. Thank you so much for having me.

Rebecca Love:
So everyone, please tune in again and our next episode of Outcomes Rocket Nursing, bringing you some of the best and most innovative nurses from around the world who are changing the face of health care today, tomorrow, and for the next generation. Thanks for being with us today.

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Things You’ll Learn 

  • When we look at the disconnect in health care, we are better able to align our skills and vision.
  • Health care has become sick care. We are no longer focusing on this wellness aspect but have shifted to a sick care ecosystem where nurses take care of a lot of illness and injury. 
  • The problem is that our health care systems, regardless of where they are, are themselves.
  • Nurses are constantly innovating. 
  • There were so many different ways to apply nursing skills and it didn’t have to be in the hospital system itself.
  • You don’t need to leave your nursing skills behind. You don’t need to leave your passion behind. 
  • Nurses are the greatest resource of any health wellness in the health care system. 
  • You can powerfully realign with your passion. 

 

Resources

Entreprenursing.ca

https://www.firstimpressionsclinic.ca/