• Type to search or press enter for full results.
Type to search or press enter for full results.

 

 

Achieving Life Goals After Overcoming Adversity
Episode

Chris Recinos, CEO, and Founder of Nurse Leader Network

Achieving Life Goals After Overcoming Adversity

In this episode of Outcomes Rocket Nursing, we are privileged to feature Chris Recinos, an outstanding nurse executive, entrepreneur, innovator, speaker, author, and CEO and Founder of Nurse Leader Network. 

Chris shares how her adversities shaped her life goals, how NLN is helping nurses gain leadership skills to transform organizations, and transitioning into entrepreneurship. We cover nurses’ impact on patients, the importance of knowing your boundaries and the sacrifices you are willing to make, setting goals, and so many more. This is a fast-paced conversation packed with so many incredible insights on nursing, health care, being an entrepreneur, and life in general, so please tune in!

Want to start your own podcast or offload the busywork of your current podcast to the pros?

Smooth Podcasting is the producer of our podcast. They help us deliver high quality audio, show notes, transcripts, podcast marketing, and so much more. We totally recommend them!

Check out Smooth Podcasting!

Get The Latest In Your Inbox

SUBSCRIBE

Achieving Life Goals After Overcoming Adversity

About Chris Recinos

Chris is a nurse executive, entrepreneur, innovator, speaker, and author and is the CEO and founder of Nurse Leader Network and Tikidas, an educational platform for nurses. She’s also the creator of the mental health app for teens called Hello Harmony. And her former roles include the Chief Nurse Executive for Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center, Deputy Nurse Executive for the Veterans Administration, and a variety of academic nurse practitioner and registered nurse roles. In her spare time, she can be found advocating for suicide prevention policies.

Chris Recinos, CEO and Founder of Nurse Leader Network: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Chris Recinos, CEO and Founder of Nurse Leader Network: 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, and it’s such a pleasure to be here with you today. As you know, we are bringing incredible nurse leaders from around the world and the United States to join us. And in my first guest, I’m so excited to have Dr. Chris Recinos on as our guest. If you don’t know, Chris, it’s somebody you definitely want to follow because Chris is a nurse executive, entrepreneur, innovator, speaker, and author and is the CEO and founder of Nurse Leader Network and Tikidas, an educational platform for nurses. She’s also the creator of the mental health app for teens called Hello Harmony. And her former roles include the Chief Nurse Executive for Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center, Deputy Nurse Executive for the Veterans Administration, and a variety of academic nurse practitioner and registered nurse roles. In her spare time, she can be found advocating for suicide prevention policies. Chris, thank you so much for being here today.

Chris Recinos:
Rebecca, I am so thrilled to be on the show with you. This is going to be amazing.

Rebecca Love:
Well, you know what, Chris? I know you know that I feel this way about you, but I heard you speak. I’ve watched you in the last year. I mean, and honestly, we’ve only known each other for a short period of time. But what I’ve witnessed of you and your power to basically transform and inspire those around you. I’m just so honored that you’re here today. And I think that one of the places that we should start is, you know, you’ve had a very interesting and dynamic background in ways that I personally have not witnessed before. And what inspires you and your work today?

Chris Recinos:
So there’s a variety of things. I share my story around, kind of what inspired me to actually go into health care. And it was a nurse. I grew up in foster care here in Los Angeles, and I ended up becoming a teen mom at 14 years old. And at that time in the 90s, they kind of just dropped you off at the hospital. You know, your foster care dropped off at the hospital and they were like, sayonara, give me a call when you need to be picked up. And, you know, at the time, I still was like playing Barbie dolls. Like I didn’t even know. Like, God forbid, I don’t who would trust me with the child at that age, but had my baby and my nurse really was the one that helped me with everything. She taught me how to give that baby a bath, how to feed the baby, how to burp the baby, had to know what was normal and not normal. And I realized really early on in my career that I wanted to help others in that way. And so when I look at defining my why and what inspires me in health care really is to help others be their best in whatever form that is. And so, you know, it doesn’t matter who it is, but I really live by the model of I like to give more than I receive. And my job really is to highlight others and let them be able to see the best that I can see in them so that they could go out and revolutionize health care.

Rebecca Love:
You know, because I think that I mean, we hear of stories that nurses became nurses because their mother was a nurse or their grandmother was a nurse or somebody in their family. And I think your entry into nursing with the exposure at 14 going in and being a young mother and teenage mother in that time, and it was a nurse that basically translated those stepping stones into motherhood is a really interesting place because it comes from a different place. And in your career, as you’ve been looking back at those defining moments of who you’ve become because you have definitely gone in a trajectory from not just staying as a nurse in that what we call a traditional role. But can you talk a little bit about what defined and motivated you as you sort of went through this process?

Chris Recinos:
Yeah, I mean, so to kind of go back to that nurse from when I was 14 years old, I, you know, really saw with her, she would always kind of remind me like, you don’t want to lose custody of your daughter. Like that was all of us where she worked in a group home. There were about a hundred ladies. About half of us have babies. And she just kind of reminded us like, this is what you need to do to make sure you regain custody of your child. And, you know, I think that was what like planted the seed of, OK, I have to, you know, continue to strive. I have to make sure I have an income. I have to make sure. And what I realize by not receiving, I think, love from a parent early was that if I please teachers, if I please workplaces, I was working at McDonald’s at fifteen years old, I got further and further along, which made me more capable to take care of my child. And so I think those were some of like what kind of built into me, you know, the seed that kind of grew around constant perseverance, constantly, kind of, you know, showing people, I’m not going to end up homeless, I’m not going to end up on the streets, you know, using drugs. And as I moved forward in my career just to kind of close the loop on that nurse, you know, she never realized what she did for me. She had zero clue. Other you know, I’m sure she touched other foster kids and she had just no clue. And that’s why I’m a nurse executive at Kaiser. I am giving these awards, this amazing unit that has some wonderful things with patient care. And I see this nurse and I look at I’m like, oh, we worked together in the emergency room together like I know her. Which emergency room was it? You know, and I’m sitting there looking and she knew me, too. She was looking at me and you scratching your head. And we’re sitting there trying to figure it out. And then, you know, her eyes start watering and then my eyes start watering because I’m like, oh, my God, that’s my nurse. That is my nurse. That’s my foster care nurse. And, you know, we both like last time we were crying, everybody thought we were crazy. They’re looking at us like, why are these two people crying? And why is she why is a nurse executive who’s brand new, the organization going in like hugging random staff? And, you know, it’s just a really cool story because she was able to see what she planted and how that came about, and I think that was another seed, which she probably doesn’t know to this day that she planted around constantly giving to others, because you just have zero clue what the work that you’re doing today is going to, how it’s going to impact in 10, 20, 30 years from now. And it really kind of started my journey into entrepreneurship and doing things that were outside of the hospital because I felt like, hey, I can impact, you know, 100 or 200, 300, 400 people here in my organization. But if I step outside of it, we’re now talking thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of people that I can help become their best. And so, I mean, I really got to kind of pay it back to this nurse, because she’s still to this day is part of the reason that I have moved on from a position to where I’m at now.

Rebecca Love:
Now, Chris, I mean, I think it’s just such an incredible story. And I think as nurses, we inherently always know that we’ve always had that one on one connection and those moments in time that as a nurse, we’re standing on the other side of that threshold and we crossed that bedroom, you know, into that bedroom of a patient. And you realize that their lives are usually in a place of such chaos or strangeness or new experience because nobody comes very rarely into a hospital setting at their best. It’s not always those moments. There’s always a transition of something going on. And we constantly touch those individuals at that moment. And I think we often forget as that nurse what that experience meant to that person in the bed in that lasting impact. And yours just shows that incredible power and how it came back, you know, years later, after you had done everything and kept going in your career and to being that executive to give them a word, I just think that’s just such an incredibly powerful direction to give hope that even those moments in time that, you know, are fleeting, they are just so powerful to what the impact that can do. And I think that’s the power of nursing in just so many ways. And, you know, when you’re talking, you transitioned and you said, you know, I could do a lot in my organization. What exactly did you do in the organization that you saw, you know what, it’s time for me to take it beyond the organization. It’s time for me to go out on my own because that’s a big jump that not a lot of nurses do. What did you see in those organizations that said it’s time to move forward?

Chris Recinos:
So I have to admit and I know you can relate. I am a serial job hopper. I just am. And it’s not a bad thing. I think a lot of people see that and they’re like, well, it’s you know, you’re moving every two, three years. Why can’t you be stable? And it really is because I’m the see one, do one, teach one move on one model. That’s just kind of how I work. And I think every organization that I’ve worked for has benefited because I’ve done and have been able to learn amazing things, set amazing things, you know, into this structure. And then, you know, it’s time for me to go to the next organization to go help them. And so, number one, I kind of found this in myself and I was actually I remember vividly I was on a drive. I used to have an almost three-hour drive. It was like two hours. If there was rain, it was three hours. So it was this crazy commute. And I would listen to a podcast for an hour, and then I’d call my best friend for an hour, and he and I would talk on his drive. And one day we were talking and he’s like like we were talking about a new position I was like, oh, you know, I was in my role and I was like, oh, there’s this position. And he goes, are you going to ever be happy? Like, are you ever going to be happy in your job? He’s the kind of guy that, you know, he’s been with his organization for almost 20 years. He will never leave. He will retire there. He loves it there. And, you know, he’s just like, why can’t you be happy? Like it’s never enough. So I started reflecting. I’m like, wow, what is going on? Why is it never enough for me? And I realized it’s because I’m not a good employee. And when I say that, I don’t mean that I’m don’t clock in, that I don’t do my job. I am a tremendous change maker. But when I see I’m not a good employee, I have a massive vision. And my vision outgrew the organizations that I’ve worked for because of the role that I was in. So, you know, even though you’re a chief nurse executive like I had dreams beyond that role and it would have taken me 20, 30 years to follow, climb up the ladder in that organization to be able to live out the vision that I had for what I saw and what I needed. And so it really was that conversation. And I realized I’m not a good employee. I’m a serial job hopper. I’m looking for more. And why not? Like I literally have gone from being a foster kid at 14 years old to like a doctorate-prepared nurse that, you know, in a chief executive role in my thirties. Like, why not? There is so much more out there. And I kind of had this feeling like I wanted to do it, but I wasn’t exactly sure what happened. But then my daughter passed away. And so I lost my daughter in twenty seventeen to suicide. And as I was preparing the speech for her service, I was reflecting on her life. And I realized I don’t have memories of her life. I didn’t have the memories of the PTA meetings, didn’t have the memories of taking her to the doctor. I didn’t take her to go get her driver’s license. I didn’t go to her soccer games. Like my husband literally had all of those memories because, again, you know, and sometimes you have to really check yourself because we all have Gold Star addiction’s where we want to get those gold stars and climb and climb, but at what sacrifice and for me, I didn’t realize what I had sacrificed. I kept climbing and going to school and doing the best of my job and staying overtime and volunteering for things. And it was to the detriment of my family. And so I realized at that point, like, OK, I want to do more, and I want to have more. I don’t want to sacrifice. I now know what the limits of my sacrifice are. And it was terrible that that’s what it took to get that way. And I hope that the listeners today now have, you know, a seed planted in where they’re going to go back and really evaluate what is it that you’re sacrificing and is it worth it? Are you OK with sacrificing this? Because every time you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else. Are things you’re saying no to really less important than what you’re saying yes to. And so fast forward. I’m this is like in the middle of a pandemic. And I go almost like 50 60 days straight working. And my son, you know, I really only saw my kids when they’re sleeping at this point. And my son his phone starts going off at like midnight. He’s 10 years old and he’s asleep. And so I grab his phone and I’m like, well, who the hell’s texting my kid at 10:00, you know, at midnight? And it was TikTok. And I realized they were applying to a post that he put that said, I’m going to hang myself. And I didn’t realize again, like I hadn’t learned my lesson that my kid, you know, had been pulled away from a school, pulled away from his friends, is now at home by himself, with my other kids there. But he’s literally by himself because my husband and I are both in health care. And I was like, OK, enough is enough. I made the mistake once. I’m not losing another child. I’m not going to continue down this pathway. The world needs more of who I am, and they can’t do that if I am constantly, you know, not giving to what is important to me.

Chris Recinos:
And it was at that point that I said, OK, it’s time for me to take that risk. And I told my husband, hey, like we may end up homeless, but it’s not going to be the first time. I’ve been in foster care. We lived that life. And I made the plunge into entrepreneurship and left my job as a nurse executive. And it has been the best decision of my life. I’ve lost weight. My kids are their mental health is in a better place. We are spending time together. I don’t miss anything. I’m coaching soccer. I mean, it is literally been the best. And at the same time, I’m now reaching out. My reach now with my podcast and with the work that I’m doing is international. I have nurses from Brazil sending me messages in Portuguese that I have no clue what they’re saying, but they’re coming out and reaching out to me because I’m touching them in a way that’s making them provide amazing patient care where they’re at. So, I mean, I’ve moved from helping people in my community to now internationally. There are nurses that are doing great work, finding their best selves. And, you know, in countries I haven’t to speak the language. And that’s the beauty of taking risks. That’s the beauty of knowing where your boundaries are and what you’re going to sacrifice and what you’re no longer willing to sacrifice.

Rebecca Love:
You know, Chris, you know, listening to you and telling that story, and I think it’s so important that when you allow yourself to reflect back and everything that you’ve experienced, you know, it’s the power of where you keep going and where you keep reaching and how you make those transitions because I think that the world thinks that success or life for people out in front is it’s easy and it’s clear cut. And you have your life together. And often life is messy and it’s hard. And as nurses, to your point, we’re always asked to give more and do less for ourselves. And it’s never about us. It’s always about the patient. And usually, who do we find in those moments? It’s always less time with our family to be in and care for patients. And when is that breaking point? And I think you’ve lived such a traumatic experience of those breaking points that today, you know, how are you doing it differently? I mean, you said you quit at it and you’ve done those things and you’ve said I am now reaching more people than before. And I think to your point, big risks mean potential big rewards, but they are big risks and it’s hard. So what makes what you’re doing different externally from what you were doing internally? And because I think that that is something that people are nurses and others exacts in health care, are listening to and thinking to themselves, where is that transition and when does different external to the life that I was living make sense for me?

Chris Recinos:
So I think it’s really that, you know, if you’re a nursing leader or any type of leader, you know, we work on strategic plans. All organizations have a strategic plan. Everybody has a strategic plan. And there’s a reason for that. It’s because if you know where you’re going, you’re going to get there. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re going to get there. And so I think what you need to do in terms of your own personal life is really take stock of where it is that you want to go. Now, I had come upon a book called Will It Fly? It was written by Pat Flynn around the time that I was thinking about transitioning. Like I didn’t know I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I just knew I wanted more. I didn’t know what that meant. And entrepreneur life is not for everybody. So don’t think that that’s the solution. It is for some people and it’s not for some people. But in that book, I really learned to look about one to five years from now and write down if I had somebody come down with this magic wand and just say, Chris, we’re going to give you anything you want, you could be a millionaire, you could literally you could do whatever you could be president of wherever you want to be, the queen of England if you’d like to be, what would you want? What would your life look like and really get granular about what would it look like? My life was like literally, I am going to go to every PTA meeting. I’m going to coach soccer. I’m going to have sex with my husband regularly because we actually see each other. It was literally like that granular. And then we went down into you know, I looked at like financially, what would that look like? I am running a center for foster kids because I was a former foster kid that’s going to help them prepare for life. I am donating fifty thousand dollars a month to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Like these are my biggest goals, my biggest dreams. And what I did was I took that and I looked at Chris’ life strategic plan. Is what I am doing today going to get me to where I want to be in the next year to five years. And when I looked at my life as a nurse executive, I was not going to make enough money to be donating 50,000 thousand dollars a year. I was not going to be able to just take off whenever I wanted to and have PTA meetings. I was not going to be leaving early and coaching a three-year-old and their soccer. It just didn’t match where I wanted to go. And I realized, OK, I need to make some shifts. So I had this form written out of what I want to do. And I always tell people, fold that sucker up into a little airplane, a paper airplane, because that is your ticket to where you’re going to be in the next couple of years or whatever. And, you know, just so happens, I was getting ready to give this keynote around this exercise, and I was like, let me look at my paper. Like, I wonder what. And so this is I wrote this paper, I think it was like November of 2019 I think something around there. And it was like a five-year goal. My five years strategic plan. Let me tell you, Rebecca, I crossed off 90 percent of it in the last year.

Rebecca Love:
Amazing.

Chris Recinos:
90 percent of the thing. And it’s literally because when an opportunity comes up and presents itself, I ask myself, is this going to get me to where I want to go? I mean, if the answer is no, it’s no. So, I mean, I think that step one. Step two is to know where your risks are and you’re not going to know them if you don’t take, you know, I recommend taking like a four-hour period, like at least once a month where you don’t get anything. You take some time off and you just sit and reflect on where am I and where am I going? And it’s really going to help you determine, like what is the absolute minimum that you’re willing to sacrifice and what the absolute maximum that you’re willing to sacrifice. And for me, I was actually willing to sacrifice my house because I figured we’re not going to be homeless like we have family, we have whoever we need that, you know, in an interim period, we can live with if I needed to because I know and I believe in my dream about making others be their best. Like, I know if I continue to put my focus on that, not my focus on becoming a millionaire, not a focus on myself, but a focus on others, that it’s going to grow, what I’m going to do is going to grow, and it’s done that. So I think really just take stock of where your limits are, like what are you willing to sacrifice and don’t let back down to being coached on. People will encroach on it like, you know, you’re going to plan your four-hour time to be by yourself. But what if somebody was like, oh, well, if you could just do it….no, I cannot. And I’m telling you no because if I say yes to you, that means I’m saying no to something

Rebecca Love:
That’s more important. You know, I think that when you say when you keep your dreams alive and focused on others, not exactly on those numbers, I think that is exactly that power. And I think when you’re talking about the nursing profession, that’s something that is fundamental that I think is just ingrained in us. And I always say nurses are the natural innovators, they’re the best entrepreneurs is when they come up with a solution. It’s not for themselves. It’s not like I’m going to make a million dollars with this widget. It’s because, hey, health care wasn’t working for me and the devices that I had in front of me kept killing patients, so I hook up with this device because it’s making it better. And what you’re saying is that exact thing, like, I’m doing this because I know that I can help others be more successful to translate the future of health and health care, to be more successful, if I can spend more time with them. And I think that’s so, so powerful. And I think that you know, give us an example in your career that perhaps if all these health care leaders that are listening to this podcast are hearing and saying, you know, I never really engaged with nurses, I never really had one on my team. And, you know, if they’re thinking to themselves after listening to you, like, OK, nurses have some power here and we have a nurse that definitely is transformed her organization. She moved quickly. She’s lived life experience. She’s going out and she’s empowering more. But what should others know about nurses and perhaps an example of the strength of nursing that if you’re a health care executive listening to this podcast today, thinking to themselves, you know, I probably need to be considering nurses either in my product development or in my team, what do you think they need to know?

Chris Recinos:
Before I answer that question. I want to piggyback on the last discussion or the last topic that we just talked about, because, yes, we talked about pouring into others, always giving others, keeping your eye on that. But there’s a secret sauce to doing that. And so I want people to know that the secret sauce for you to be able to go and continue to pour into others is the first person that you have to pour into is yourself.

Rebecca Love:
Absolutely.

Chris Recinos:
I could not have done anything for any other person until I took care of myself. And I think as health care leaders. You know, there’s even a book that says leaders eat less. Bullshit. They do not eat less. If you eat less you are going to have the weather down into nothing and you’re not going to be able to give your best to others. So just wanted to put that caveat. Yes, pour to others. Yes, we give to others. But you need to put yourself first on that table and first on that list because once you do, that’s when you can truly give your best and Shaub your best to your family, your loved ones, EMT, whatever work it is that you’re doing. So that’s that. And then in terms of nursing and being, you know, at the table or being on your team. 90 percent of health care in the world is provided by the nurse.

Rebecca Love:
Absolutely.

Chris Recinos:
So 90 percent. Would you go to a dentist that’s organization was run by an insect killer, by somebody who goes and, you know, treats termites at your house? Now. Would you go to a pet cleaner and get your pet groomed by somebody whose experience was in business? So if we wouldn’t trust our pet grooming with somebody who only had experience in business, why would we trust our lives, the very most important thing, the very most important resource on the planet, why wouldn’t we trust that with somebody who doesn’t know our business? People go to hospitals for nursing care, period. They go there for nursing care. That’s what you’re admitted for. You are admitted twenty-four hours a day to nursing care. That’s it. I totally believe in interdisciplinary health teams. Everybody is needed on there. I’m not trying to minimize everybody else’s role. But the reality is, is that people go into hospitals for nursing care like that. It’s just the difference between you being in an inpatient and outpatient.

Rebecca Love:
And there was a big study that was just done just showing that that that’s why if you’re going to be admitted, it means you can’t care for yourself and you need a nurse around the clock to be able to manage that and keep you alive so that eventually we can discharge you from the hospital.

Chris Recinos:
Yeah. I mean, like think about it. Let’s just pretend we do pull nurses out. Physicians could totally do that role. We don’t have enough of them. And so if a physician’s writing in order to put in an I.V., but there’s nobody there to put that I.V. and hang that medication and watch those pressures, that’s a problem. So I mean and like I said, I am not devaluating any profession whatsoever. We are all 100 percent needed, but we all have a role in what it is that we do. We wouldn’t be able to have ambulatory care if it was not for physicians. It’s just that’s our role. We have a certain role in health care. And, you know, it’s interesting because companies come to me and ask about solutions that as nurse executive, the company, they bring me the solutions and I tell them I don’t have that problem. If you’re solving something for a problem I don’t have, I don’t know where you saw that problem, but it’s not a problem that I have. And it’s not a problem that any of the nurse executives I know have. And so, you know, when it comes to really bring nursing to the table, it’s foolish to not do that. It’s foolish to have nurses not leading a nursing center, which is a hospital. It’s just foolish to not have nurses at that hotel because it’s just like having somebody groom your dog who knows nothing about dog grooming you’re going to have poor outcomes. I think that’s true when it comes to leading the organization as well. Right. So there was a study that came out several years ago that asked nurse executives, what are your priorities? Tell me your strategic plan. Where are your priorities? And so they’re putting safety and patient experience and quality. And guess what they had on like number 15 on the list. Research, experience, innovation. Newsflash, if you focus on research, evidence-based and innovation, everything else, finance, quality, patients, it will take care of itself. We have to put our money where our mouth is, and we have to allow frontline to be really kind of driving a lot of this work. And so, you know, I think it’s important not only for non-nurses to make sure that nurses are involved in their companies, involved in, you know, especially if you’re trying to develop a health-related product. Nurses can really drive and tell you what those problems are and they can tell you what’s going to work or not, because a lot of times on the surface, it looks like it’s something that works. And then when it comes to it, the nurses are going to be like, no, I don’t like that. I’m going to duct tape something else. And then that’s how it’s going to work when we’re in person. So, you know, it’s important for non-nurses, but it’s also really important for nurse leaders to bring your people who are doing the work to the forefront. Our job is not to know everything. As a nurse executive, I didn’t know how to play with the ICU equipment that was not my job, but my job was to make sure that those that did were involved in the purchasing of the equipment, that those that did, were involved in the purchasing of staffing. And, you know, we really don’t do that enough in health care.

Rebecca Love:
And I love what you’re saying that. I mean, the truth is, is so much has rolled out in health care that makes more work for the nurse, that solves problems that don’t exist, that if you really want to fix health care, you should be engaging with those nurses so that the next time your company goes and tries to sell a nurse executive, they look at you and they say, well, you know, I’m sorry, that’s not the problem. We need it. And the simple answer is, go and speak to the nurse?

Chris Recinos:
Yeah, it is. I mean, when you’re hiring just for anybody who’s listening and who’s going to hire a nursing leader. One of the questions you need to ask is, tell me about a time that you involved your frontline staff in solutioning. What were the outcomes? What did it look like? And if they don’t have a response for you, that’s not an executive, a nurse leader, a director, a manager is not a nurse leader you want on your team.

Rebecca Love:
Exactly. And I love that you’re saying that because the truth is, is that power, that knowledge, that expertise is so deep and so inherent and intrinsic in what we do. That you’re going to be blown away by those experiences that you do when you engage with them. And so, Chris, you know, you already talked about a number of setbacks in life that you seemed to hold on to that for many of us could have potentially crippled movement forward. Can you talk about one of those key setbacks and how you reframed why and how? I think the big question is, is how did you reframe that setback to transition into something greater? Because I think every time I hear your story, I know that it leaves me with a feeling that there are people in this world that are meant to be here and that the things that they experience are around them in ways that seem to transcend the ability to transcend. And you constantly do. And so how do you do that? How do you take those setbacks and reframe them?

Chris Recinos:
I think the biggest setback, obviously, was losing my daughter. I mean, there’s nothing that compares, not even, you know. And it was interesting and maybe not interesting, but I lost my daughter and then three months later, I lost my grandma. And then seven months after that, my biological mom passed away. And so was a lot of loss early on. And I’ve got to tell you, it did a number on my mental health. I actually had a plan to take my own life. After I lost my daughter, I literally went out and bought the same stuff my daughter used to take her life and I had a plan to do it. And as I was getting ready to put the stuff on, I felt my baby kick because I was pregnant with my daughter, my three-year-old. And so I lost my daughter Harmony when I was four months pregnant. And it reminded me that although I lost Harmony’s life, there was still life inside of me, literally and figuratively. But there was still life left in me. And I think for me, it was really focusing on the bigger picture. As you know, I had a lot of people come up to me and say, I couldn’t have done this if I were you. I don’t know how you got through this. And the reality is, I didn’t have a choice. There was no choice. You don’t lose a child. You don’t lose a person in your life and then have a choice to continue going on or not. You just go on and it’s then up to you to decide whether you want to make meaning out of your loss or whether you want to let it destroy you. And I think it just went back to my core of always wanting to help others. At that point. I realized, when people die of suicide, you think that the pain ends, but it actually doesn’t. It multiplies. And then it goes on to every single person that loves that person that died of suicide. So you think that you know, when you take going to take your life, that’s it. You’re going to end, but you actually are now amplifying it and then spreading it. And I didn’t want the rest of my family to have to feel that. And I didn’t want other parents to have to stand up at a podium and not have a speech because they missed out on their child’s life or, you know, really have these reflections on what if I could have saved them. So I think the biggest pieces, as you’re going through your trials and tribulations, we’re all going to have them. Number one, it’s important to not compare. Just because I lost a daughter doesn’t mean I had a nurse come up to me on time. And she’s like, you know, I lost my dog and it’s just destroyed my life. And I know I can’t compare to a child. And I told her, why are you comparing it then? If you know you can’t, why are you? It’s not different? Your level of pain is no less than mine because yours was the dog and mine was. It’s just not we can’t compare our grief to one another. But what we can do is make sure that we seek some type of meaning out of it. And what you’ll find is when you go through these hard times, homelessness, maybe drug addiction, whatever it is that you’re struggling with or that you’ve been able to overcome, you’ll find meaning by giving out to others. So you’ll begin to heal and experience decreases in your level of grief if you begin to kind of do that patchwork around helping others not have to go through you know, whatever problem you want in. And that’s why I think you see so many people that have faced immense adversity just go on to be this huge change maker. And it really is because that they’ve learned that the trick is to not hold it in, not to avoid it and not to talk about it, not to avoid it with all of their passion. Those are the people that end up really destroying who they are as a human, but they instead channel all of that pain, all of that sadness, all of that stress be channeled into ensuring that others don’t live in those shoes. And it looks different. That doesn’t mean you have to go out and become like, in my case, I don’t need to go out and save the world of suicide and I don’t need to do those things. Having a conversation with one parent that has a kid that’s struggling, that’s enough. That is using what I’ve learned, and that’s enough to help you repair your own soul. So it’s really a choice. It’s not number one, it’s not a choice to live through those things, but it is a choice what you do after you can choose to hold it in and not do anything with it, or you can choose to, you know, make moves. And that might include therapy. For me, it was a lot of therapy. It included a lot of talking to others. Holding it in was not the way to do it, but always just focusing on my, you know, what can I change? What can I? What do I want people to say about me when it’s my turn to go?

Rebecca Love:
Chris, what you say is so powerful, and the choices we make in life and the energy that comes in and out and how you keep moving it forward is just impactful in ways. And I think when the audience hears this, that I think if it does anything, it should instill with them that through even the darkest moments, it is a choice to see how you come out of those and that a lot of good still can be ahead. And I think as we’re coming to the end of our time, what based on this conversation and everything going on in the world of health care, what gets you excited about today and the future of health care and everything that you’re doing? Where should we leave everybody with thoughts of what is coming that gives everybody hope?

Chris Recinos:
You know, what gets me excited today really is the newfound focus on mental health. And this is beyond my daughter. This is much, much beyond my daughter. But the reason I say that is because I was talking to a nurse actually today, earlier today, and she was telling me, you know, when I was going through nursing and it is like an 80, she’s like it was actually rude to let people know that you’re interested in leadership positions. You just didn’t do that, do that. And I was like really rude to raise your hand and say, hey, I want to be tapped on. And so, I mean, can you imagine all the potential that we lost in the 80s and the 90s because that was rude, that was a rude thing. So what I say by mental health is and like I said earlier, when you take care of yourself, you become the best version of yourself, and then you can give the best version of yourself to others. And I see that with this newfound focus on mental health. You know, we’re going to be able to change things like diabetes rates and obesity. There’s almost always a mental health component to whatever it is, whether it’s a self-limiting belief, whether it’s it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t have to necessarily be a diagnosis, but there’s a mental component to it. And so by addressing that, we’re going to naturally see some of these things that we’ve been tackling with medication. And, you know, by pouring more money into, we’re going to see them begin to be prevented. And so I’m really excited to see how people are beginning to really take charge of their own mental health and how because they’re now the best versions of themselves, they’re going out and they are changing all kinds of things. So, I mean, I’m excited that there’s now a new focus on that. I’m excited that nurses are finally seeing that there’s more than the bedside and the more that the bedside is not ambulatory where you go to die. That’s when I went to the ambulatory and like, oh, you came here to die? Like, what the hell does that mean? No, I didn’t come to the ambulatory to die. I came to prevent it because I did want to see my patients in the hospital. Right. But they’re seeing now like, hey, I can use my nursing skills and become a lawyer. I can use my nursing skills and go on to develop some cool tech. I can use my nursing skills and own a business. I can use my nursing skills and create a community kitchen. It is beyond belief what nurses are doing nowadays, and it’s because they’re beginning to open their eyes. I feel like all of the clouds. Oh, you’re just a nurse. Are beginning to kind of come off and wait. And so I’m just excited to see what nurses are doing. I’m excited to see the first United States president that’s a nurse because I know it’s on its way. And I can see how transformative that’s going to be. So, I mean, there’s just so much to be excited about. But I think the first step is that we’re finally taking care of ourselves and we’re saying enough is enough and that we’re not going to tolerate being used in abuse anymore because it’s not good for anybody.

Rebecca Love:
And, you know, I love your view that the world is limitless. And I think to your point, the world is changing for nurses. And for decades and generations of all those that came before us, which saw traditional past nurses like you, are changing those paths. And it’s only going to lead to better outcomes for all the patients, for all of our profession, and in all honesty, for humanity in general. So everyone. Chris, where can people find you? Where can they find you on social? How can they get in contact with you? Because I know many are going to want to after hearing you.

Chris Recinos:
Absolutely. So you can find me on LinkedIn. Chris Recinos, Chris Recinos. Or you can check out Nurse Leader Network. That’s www.nurseleadernetwork.com. We have tons of information, tons of things are going on. And if you’re interested in the mental health app, Hello Harmony on Instagram, we just launched Instagram and we’ll be showing our journey in terms of how we’re building the app and how others can learn to build or can utilize the app. So looking forward to meeting everybody.

Rebecca Love:
Absolutely brilliant. Chris, I am so excited to see where your career goes and where Hello Harmoney goes and all these lives that you touch because if we have more nurses like you in the world, I know that there are endless possibilities for our profession.

Rebecca Love:
So, everyone, thank you for tuning in. This is Rebecca Love with outcomes, rocket nursing. Look forward to tuning you in to future guests and learning more about the incredible nurses around the world who are transforming the future of human health. Thank you so much for being here, Chris.

Sonix is the world’s most advanced automated transcription, translation, and subtitling platform. Fast, accurate, and affordable.

Automatically convert your mp3 files to text (txt file), Microsoft Word (docx file), and SubRip Subtitle (srt file) in minutes.

Sonix has many features that you’d love including automated subtitles, transcribe multiple languages, share transcripts, secure transcription and file storage, and easily transcribe your Zoom meetings. Try Sonix for free today.


Things You’ll Learn

  • You have no clue how the work you are going today is going to impact years from now. 
  • Even those moments in time that, you know, are fleeting, they are just so powerful to what the impact that can do.
  • We all have gold star addiction where we want to get those gold stars and climb and climb, without knowing that we are already sacrificing so much. Know the limits of your sacrifice. 
  • Every time you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else.
  • Know where your boundaries are and what you’re going to sacrifice and what you’re no longer willing to sacrifice.
  • Nurses are asked to give more and do less for themselves.
  • Big risks mean potential big rewards but it’s hard. 
  • Take stock of where it is that you want to go.
  • When an opportunity comes up and presents itself, ask yourself, is this going to get me to where I want to go? If the answer is no, it’s no.
  • Know what is the absolute minimum that you’re willing to sacrifice and what the absolute maximum you’re willing to sacrifice.
  • Nurses are natural innovators.
  • Focus on the bigger picture. 
  • Even the darkest moments, it is a choice to see how you come out of those and that a lot of good still can be ahead.
  • The world is changing for nurses.

 

Resources

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-recinos

Website: https://nurseleadernetwork.com/