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Re-Branding the Image of Nursing in Africa
Episode

Josiah Jackson-Okesola, Digital Media Strategist of the Nurses on Air Foundation

Re-Branding the Image of Nursing in Africa

Challenges in the nursing profession are found all over the world. In the episode of the Outcomes Rocket Nursing episode, we are privileged to feature the outstanding Josiah Jackson-Okesola, a multiple award-winning nurse innovator and Digital Media Strategist of the Nurses on Air Foundation. Josiah explains the challenges of nurses and healthcare in Africa and what he and his team did to find solutions to the many problems they are facing. Leveraging the power of innovation and digital technology, Josiah founded Nurses on Air, helping change the perception of people on nurses. He also shares incredible examples of what African nurses go through and encourages decision-makers to involve nurses in their plans. Josiah is passionate about nursing, innovation and digital media, and he shares amazing insights in this interview, so please tune in!

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Re-Branding the Image of Nursing in Africa

About Josiah

Josiah is a multi-award-winning nurse innovator, certified media broadcaster, outstanding global nurse leader, digital media strategist, social impact addict. In recognition of his contribution in the field of nursing leadership and health advocacy, he earned his first international award in 2013 from the highest global nursing body, the International Council of Nurses, Geneva, Switzerland. In 2019, he lead his team of media broadcasting Nurses to win the Nigeria Healthcare Excellence Awards (Media Broadcast Category), a highly revered national award in recognition of contributions to excellence in the Nigerian healthcare industry. 

Josiah earned a global appointment to coordinate the Nursing Now Global Campaign for Nigeria, a campaign powered by the World Health Organization & the International Council of Nurses.  In January 2020, he received an international award from America’s foremost nurse-led media organization, which earned him a coveted seat at the boardroom of the American media organization, The Truth About Nursing in the United States, thus becoming the second African to be appointed to the prestigious position.

Re-Branding the Image of Nursing in Africa with Josiah Jackson-Okesola, Digital Media Strategist of the Nurses on Air Foundation: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Re-Branding the Image of Nursing in Africa with Josiah Jackson-Okesola, Digital Media Strategist of the Nurses on Air Foundation: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Rebeccah Love:
Hi everyone! This is Rebecca Love with Outcomes Rocket Nursing, and today I am so excited to have as my guest Josiah Jackson-Okesola. Josiah is a multi-award-winning nurse innovator, certified media broadcaster, outstanding global nurse leader, digital media strategist, social impact addict. In recognition of his contribution to the field of nursing advocacy and leadership, he earned his first international award in 2013 from the highest global nursing body, the International Council of Nursing in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2019, he lead into the field of nursing innovation won his team's digital media invention Nurses on Air the highly revered National Award in Nigeria's Health Care Excellence Awards media broadcast category, making him the first and only nurse in the history of his home country to ever lead a team to a National Award in the media innovation field. As a result of his passion for rebranding the image of nursing in Africa, he earned a global appointment with the nursing now global body coordinated by the International Council of Nurses, ICN and the World Health Organization, working with Africans on the world's notable nursing leaders towards raising the profile and status of African nurses and midwives. In January 2020, he received an international award from America's foremost nurse-led media organization The Truth about Nursing Decade Awards award, which earned him a coveted seat at the boardroom of the American media organization, The Truth About Nursing in the United States, thus becoming the second African to be appointed to the prestigious position. Josiah has spent the last five years building an outstanding career in the field of nursing innovation, entrepreneurship, career coaching, and global nursing leadership. He is extremely passionate about global opportunities for African nurses and is currently working on some of Africa's leading nurse innovators with the goal of transforming the future of African nursing through the fields of nursing innovation, entrepreneurship, and global nursing leadership. His dream is to build an enduring synergy between African nurses and the world's best leading nurse innovators and health care investors, with the aim of driving massive investment and global opportunities for African nurses and reshaping the future of health care delivery in Africa. Josiah, it is such an honor to have you on the Outcome Rocket Nursing podcast. Thank you for being here.

Josiah Jackson-Okesola:
Thank you, Rebecca. It's an honor to be here with you.

Rebeccah Love:
Josiah, every time we speak, every time that we get together and talk, the things that you are working on just to me are leading some of the best work in the field for nurses at a global level. One thing that I want to ask, even though I think that your bio does such a great job setting this up is what inspires you and the work. How did you get started and what inspires you at this time to do what you are to change health care? And specifically, what inspired you to really dive in and do more in terms of changing the perception and the reality of what nursing is in Africa?

Josiah Jackson-Okesola:
Yeah, thank you, Rebeccah for that question. And that's a very important question, because without inspiration, probably I would have given up along the line. One of the things that inspire me is the realization of the enormous power that nurses have. Unfortunately, 20 years ago when I was a young nurse when I graduated as a young nurse. I did not understand the enormity of this power, and it took me about 15 years to come to realize that the nursing profession is being underutilized globally. Unfortunately, it was in Africa where I come from. In Africa, nursing is undervalued, it's been underrated, it's been underutilized. So knowing that nursing as a profession is the most powerful profession in the world, is the most powerful profession that the health care field, inspires me to want to explore the breadth, the length, the height of the nursing profession to its fullest. That thought that we have not even maximized 20, 25, 30 percent of the power of nursing inspires me to want to go the extra mile to do everything I can with the nursing profession.

Rebeccah Love:
Oh, I love this. And I, you know, I think when this is an interesting thing because we talk a lot about nursing and where they sit in health care. But can you give us a little bit of an understanding of what nursing looks like in Africa? Because I think that that is something that's relatively unknown to our part of the world. And I know that you're also doing some work in the UK, so if you could just explain what and how it is, you saw nursing in your own country and why you became so passionate about it. But can you give us a baseline understanding of what this looks like?

Josiah Jackson-Okesola:
This is one way I used to summarize what medicine looks like in Africa. I used to say that the most fortunate experience that anyone in this world can have is being a nurse. The most unfortunate experience that anyone can have in Africa is being a nurse. Why? Because the value placed on the nursing profession is practically non-existent. The people do not appreciate the nursing profession. The government does not know the value of the nursing profession. The significance attached to the profession is so low that the government does not place nursing as a priority. So no investment in the nursing profession and this places nurses in a very difficult situation. Let me give you a practical example. So when I was working in a government hospital in a government institution, I was nursing about thirty-five patients. A lot.

Rebeccah Love:
Oh my God.

Josiah Jackson-Okesola:
Mental health nurse nursing 35 patients? Now, these were psychotic, aggressive patients in a ward. We had to walk alone and nurse this patient. Now, if I must terrify patients in the United Kingdom, Canada and U.S., I'm likely to say, I can survive it. But nursing the patients in a ward where there is no power supply. It's in darkness. It was in darkness. Not only that, most of these patients with no water supply, and most of the patients with no injections to give. One patient became verbally, physically violent, or aggressive. And nursing patients in a ward where I don't have a single blood pressure monitor to check the vital signs of the patient. Nursing patient in a ward where to get simple cotton wool and methylated spirit is a problem for me. Now tell me, Rebecca, how on earth are we able to walk to my full potential as a nurse. So that is just a picture of the kind of environment we are working in Africa. There's so much wealth in Africa. Don't get me wrong. Africa is one of the beautiful places to live in the world because there is enormous wealth in Africa. But the leadership has compromised the situation so much that health care is in shambles, health care is in crisis. The people are suffering, the masses cannot access policy healthcare, and so it is a terrible situation. It is a dilemma for us working in such situations with no inspiration, with no motivation, with no equipment to work with. And then the people are expecting so much from us and then they get to a stage, get burnt out. We get so exhausted and then we begin to lash out at the patient. Sometimes you see nurses talking to the patients in impolite ways because they have been wrong down. So there is a lot of dynamics going in the part of Africa where I come from. And that is why I'm so passionate about nurses having the privilege to work in an environment where the best they can reach their full potentials and get the peak of their career and you can see the best in nurses from Africa.

Rebeccah Love:
Oh my gosh. I mean, I think that acknowledgment of the environment, you know, a ratio of one to thirty-five no equipment in these wards, one nurse on an entire hospital floor, lack of supplies. And to your point, you know, you said it so eloquently, you know that health care is in shambles and people are suffering because there are not enough nurses to care for those who need that in that country. And so I think that when you've painted this picture, there is an incredible need and incredible opportunity. And I want to know from you, how are you and what you are doing is transforming or bringing value to the world of health care and nursing in Africa.

Josiah Jackson-Okesola:
Thank you very much, Rebecca. So what some of us realize is that the more we stay within the hospital setting and feel disempowered, the more terrible the situation is going to get. So we need to do something drastic. We need to get out of our comfort zones. We need to leave the force of the hospital, step out there and begin to ask, begin to innovate extraordinary ideas, unusual ideas that can at least bring some kind of succor to the situation. So there were two things we identified. We identified that there was a low level of value and was placed on nurses because nurses do everything. They do sacrifice so much, but nobody gets to know their stories. Nobody gets to know what they're going through. Nobody even understands what nurses, how much nurses are doing to make sure that they care. The weakened health care system does not completely collapse. Most of the health care systems in Africa that are weakened are being aided together as we speak by the nursing workforce. Once the massive workforce withdraws its services, the healthcare system will collapse. Nobody knows this. So what we did was we step out of our comfort zone and begin to let people know what the situation is. And the only way we can do that is to begin to explore the power of digital technology. Because if you want to start going from one city to city, one community to community, one neighborhood to neighborhood in our physical state, it will be difficult to begin to explain to people to understand what nursing is all about? They don't know. So we decided to invent a digital media innovation as nurses, and we established the first-ever broadcasting that can use the power of digital media to begin to educate the public about nurses. Now there is a second problem. Because of the educational system in Africa, nurses are not trained to be leaders. Nurses are not trained to be innovators. Nurses are not trained to be social impact innovators. Now, nurses are trained to be mere employees who finish school, and they're looking for a job and spent 13 years on the job and then they retire. This is killing the real power of nurses, so we need to begin to educate our nurses in Africa that what nursing schools taught them is less than 50 percent of what nursing really is. Nursing is more than a calling. Nursing is about innovation. Nursing is about leadership. Nursing is about policy-making, decision-making. Nursing is about providing solutions, inventing solutions. So we are to use that broadcasting hour to achieve two purposes. Empower nurses with knowledge about what nursing really is and then empower the public to have a deeper understanding of who nurses really are. Those are the two things that we focused on invented a radio program where we experimented with the program for three years, and the result was amazing.

Rebeccah Love:
Oh my gosh, Josiah. There were so many incredible statements that you made there. Everything that nurses hold the health care system together, and that if they were not there, the system would collapse and that the world does not know the power of nurses. So you took it upon yourself through digital media to educate the population because nursing is so much more than a calling, and that impact of launching into a radio station and creating these conversations is such an impactful way to redefine and actually re-educate a population and then inspire that next generation to really own that. But you are so right on so many fronts with regards to nurses just have not been trained in those skill sets. And we've always said secondary, so many others who have defined health care and drove it forward. But if you gave nurses that voice the opportunities that they would have to transform, it had to be tremendous. So tell us when you started this, how did you do it differently and better than what you had seen out there, and what was the impact of what you started to see happen?

Josiah Jackson-Okesola:
Ok, thank you very much, Rebecca. So there was a need to raise the status of nurses. There was a need to raise the profile of nurses. There was a need to improve the value and worth placed on nurses. But we had a problem. The media is the major problem. So the media misportray who nurses really are. So every time you open the TV and you see a portrayal of nurses, you see someone standing behind a doctor, holding a stethoscope, holding a blood pressure monitor, holding a kidney dish, and answering Sir as a maid seven to the doctor. Every single time you open everything on the media, that is what you see. The negative portrayal of nurses, misconduct, misrepresentation of nurses. So what we did was we begin to change the picture in the aid of people using the radio stations to portray the real work of nurses. I must tell you initially, when we started using the media, when we come on the radio and we talk about these things, people call in and say, no nurses are bad. Nurses attended to me badly. Nurses did this. Nurses did that. There were a lot of complaints about the work of nurses and then at the end of the program, you see the same people coming back and saying, Wow, we never knew that you guys go through so much. We never knew that you guys are so wonderful. We never knew, you know, a lot of positive comments start coming in and then we start telling them, each time you go to the hospital, each time you encounter a nurse, you need to begin to appreciate them. And I can tell you this we began changing the perception and understanding of the public about nurses. And then after some time, people started inviting us to more programs on radio, more programs on TV where we were able to talk more. Media personnel listens to the show, see what we're doing, and they want us to come and talk more about it because they themselves do not even understand the work of nurses. So they saying, Oh, we never knew. We never knew. And then that was how the opportunity opened up for nurses to begin to use media as a way of telling their stories and as a way of portraying, branding the image of the nursing profession. And I will tell you today in Nigeria, where I come from presently because of the work we've done in the last five years, a lot of partnership between media and nurses is ongoing. There is a lot of collaborations, a lot of synergy going on between the media one and the nursing profession. And I can tell you the next five years, it's going to be a different story entirely because nothing in Africa is going to get a different picture of what it used to be. And most of us are excited. They are happy about it. Apart from that, a lot of nurses are mastering the power of storytelling because digital media storytelling is another innovation that is underutilized over the years. So we invented the idea the concept of inspirational mentoring through the power of digital storytelling. So we get nurses to come and tell their stories. And then when nurses come on radio on TV, they say, No, you're making a mistake. The person is a doctor. We say no, she is a nurse, she is a nurse. We don't know nurses speak like this. We don't know nurses are intelligent like this. So there has been a lot of positive results from using the power of digital technology to advance the nursing profession and paint the image of the nursing profession in a positive light.

Rebeccah Love:
Josiah, I am so honored that you are a nurse because of what you are talking about and how you so eloquently sum up the challenges that the restaurant is faced and also identify some of the biggest barriers. Because you know what you said there, that the media is part of the problem, that their portrayal of nursing has always showed a negative or secondary image of nurses in all of what they portray, and what you have done by going out there starting with radio and then creating this massive movement and training nurses on digital storytelling so that they can actually explain and quantify and increase the value of understanding of what nurses do is so incredibly powerful because, as you say, and what we've talked about is no one has actually done and documented our history, our impact as nurses. Those stories have been forgotten and the way we are portrayed by media is holding one's hand, stand behind a doctor, having a stethoscope around our neck, and listening and following only what we are told to do, but not inspiring and leading like we do do. And what you have done is just incredible for both the future of nursing in Nigeria and Africa, but also for what you were doing on a global level. And I am just so honored and so incredibly inspired hearing you speak. So what do you believe in all of these interviews that you've done that people need to know that maybe they don't know about the role of nursing and improving health care? If you could give us sort of an example that you sit there and say here is exactly, you know, these were the kind of stories that summed up what people said, that transformation as you said, as people listen to your radio calling first to complain about their experience with nursing and then at the end of your shows calling and saying, Oh my gosh, I had no idea this is what nurses did. But what do you think people need to know about nursing?

Josiah Jackson-Okesola:
Now, what I usually say, where I usually start with this kind of question is to look at policy-makers, decision-makers, government officials. Many of them in the part of Africa we come from do not have an iota of understanding about nurses. So one thing they need to know is that especially people who are in the health care policy-making feed in the healthcare sector, who are politicians, who are decision-makers, government officials, when they talk about universal health coverage when they talk about sustainable development goals, they need to understand that these are mere, how do I put it? These are just mere talk. He doesn't have wit until you begin to put the nursing and midwifery profession at the center of such lofty ideas. Universal health coverage in Africa is a huge thing. Unfortunately, people talk about universal coverage without talking about the nursing profession. Without nursing, universal health coverage is zero. Without nursing, sustainable development goals are zero. So people need to understand that nursing is the largest health care workforce in the outfit, and when you begin to ignore the bulk of the healthcare feed, whatever ideas, no matter how lofty these whatever policies you bring to the table, no matter how brilliant it is, we always feel. It does not produce results. So people need to begin to understand that nurses are the most important workforce in the sector, and they need to be at the center of the discussion. Another thing? People need to understand is that globally, the nursing profession has changed in the last five years, so people need to understand nursing is not about the hospital. People make the mistake. It's time to mention nurses. They might go to the hospital. Nursing has gone beyond the bedside. People need to understand that when you see a nurse, you should begin to think about that young child and a family that young baby who is suffering from malnutrition in the house, that pregnant woman who is about to give birth, that woman who is nursing a baby, that eight of the family who is undergoing psychological emotional stress and needs attention, that elderly woman or man who is abandoned. You know, these are the works that nurses do in families, in neighborhoods, in communities, in government institutions, administration, leadership. So nursing has gone beyond just sitting within four walls of the hospital and caring for the sick like people have an idea. I have the picture caring for the sick. Nursing is more than care for the sick. Nothing is more than a humanitarian service. Nursing is more than a calling. The nursing profession is one of the biggest businesses in the world, so nursing is not only about caring. Nothing is a business. Nothing is a profession. And any will begin to take the business of nursing seriously for policymakers, for governments, for decision-makers, the better for us. Now, one thing I must say about nursing in Africa is that there are so much talents and gifts and creativity in African nursing. Only a minimal percentage of the creativity and potentials that exist in African nursing have been explored. The education that nurses get is so rigorous in Africa that when you come out of that education system, they are very strong. Unfortunately, unfortunately, because of the environment, they find themselves inhumane working environments, lack opportunities to explore to their full potential, you find out that the creativity of nurses is killed. So people need to understand that nurses need to be invested, especially nurses from Africa. You see a nurse from Africa who is struggling in Africa then the nurse gets an opportunity to come to Canada, to come to the UK, to come to America, to go to Australia, nurses getting awards, not just exploring, making, breaking boundaries. So there is a need to invest in African nurses and midwives. People need to understand that if the future of healthcare in Africa must be salvaged, we need to invest heavily in African nurses and midwives. These are the things that people need to begin to understand so that we might be able to change the future of nursing in Africa and African nurses can get to the global stage and begin to change the future of healthcare globally.

Rebeccah Love:
As you say, let policymakers speak to these lofty goals of health care and universal health care coverage. We look and we wonder why they fail. And as you so eloquently said, when they talk about health care goals and universal health care coverage and population health initiatives, when they fail to embrace and bring in nursing as a core part of that conversation, that plan, and that execution, they continuously fail. And to your point. Nursing is the largest health care workforce. And when we in the greater world don't recognize that health care is in shambles and health care solutions that don't include nursing at the center of those conversations a seat at the table, those solutions are destined to fail. When you do not bring nursing into those conversations and you said that so brilliantly, and this, as you said, is not only the way to save health care in Africa, but I fundamentally believe you are absolutely on-point that it is beyond just Africa, that it is fundamentally necessary to bring nursing into every country's health care decision making tables to solve the challenges that need to happen. You are a prime example of how when you do bring nurses into it, the entire trajectory of health care and the profession of nursing changes. Brilliantly said and brilliantly done for what you're doing. Bringing it back to give us a little bit of example because what you said in Africa, there is so much ingenuity and innovation that's going there because of just the situations that you're in. Can you give us an example of a time that a nursing team that you were working with in Africa created a great solution for the population in which they were caring for you? Is there an example that you have that you could share with us?

Josiah Jackson-Okesola:
Yeah, we have one or two examples. One of that is we designed a digital media solution in form of a TV program. Now for the first time in Africa, that was the first time in Africa that a concept of a nurse's TV, a TV program created by nurses run by nurses, for nurses, and for the public, has ever been executed. So we designed this brilliant idea. TV program. Nurses sit in front of the TV. Three nurses up there. They're hosts on the show. They talk like media broadcasters, the addition of knowledge they are making interviews, and the public are calling in to ask questions. And they would do so much working on these for almost three years now. Why we did this was because we felt that in Africa, people don't take you seriously when you have an idea, brilliant idea and you say, give me money, but people take you seriously when you have a brilliant idea and you demonstrate it to people and then they can say, wow, I love this, I want to be a part of this. So we started that in mind that we needed to create something that has never been done before. So we went to work for three years and created this brilliant idea, and then we started going to the studio to shoot and we had a lot of shooting, quite some several shootings that we did. We maintain a very good standard and then we package everything. I began taking it to leaders, nurse leaders to endorse, and for people to begin to invest and looking to it. That was an example of a time that we were able to sit down as a digital team, talented nurses, and come up with an incredible solution. Unfortunately, there is a sad part of that story. So that's one of the examples I can give you of a solution that we have decided to use to address the problem. And then we started together to bring nursing innovation at its best.

Rebeccah Love:
But you know that statement that you said when people have an idea and they think this brilliant idea is investors are going to invest in them, is you and give them money is usually not the path that happens. And you went about it and you set it in this way, which was we came at it with the mindset that we were going to build something that people wanted to get involved in this brilliant idea with the mindset that we were going to build it and that would attract that investment. And I think that is such a fundamental basic level of understanding, innovation, and entrepreneurship. For so many new entrepreneurs who are out there who can't understand how to get a company or an idea off the ground. And I think you hit the nail on the head that you if you build it, they will come and it is hard to do that and to believe in it. But if you do, it does happen. And I know you hinted that there was a setback there. And I think that what I would love to talk to about Josiah is what has been one of those biggest setbacks that you experienced and what was the key learning because I think that when people hear people that are doing such incredible work, they believe that life has those moments that they just naturally fall into place. And I think what we don't often talk about are those setbacks. So could you tell us about one of the biggest setbacks that you experienced and what you took away from it?

Josiah Jackson-Okesola:
Now, one of the biggest setbacks was you have a vision, you have an inspiration, and you are convinced in your mind that this is a big solution to identify problem. And then you take it to people who have the power to make it happen. You don't have basic foundation. All you need to do is say, Oh, we love this idea, let's make it work. And then you find out that they are not interested. That was a big blow. So in Africa, I know some leadership is just evolving because we have an older generation of nursing that is not so digital in nature. That is analog in nature. So it was extremely difficult to sell a digital team, a digital dream to an analog mindset, and that was a big blow because we were looking at closing the gap, working with the older generation of leaders so that we can work together. They have a lot of experience. They have a lot of expertise. They have a lot of knowledge. They've been in the profession for years. All we need to do is bring in the digital savvy savviness of the younger generation, much with the intelligence and the knowledge and experience and expertise of the older generation and boom it blows up. Unfortunately, it seems people who are in position to make that work did not actually see the picture. That was one of the biggest blow we had. Secondly, what other setbacks that we had was this was a new territory for us. It was a new feed. For close to five years we worked very hard night and day building this idea, using our own knowledge, our own experience. Unfortunately, it got wasted. We got stuck because we didn't have mentors., In 2015, when I decided to go back to broadcasting school to study media broadcasting, I had to search the nook and cranny of my country to look for a nurse that was already doing something in that field. And guess what? I couldn't find a single one. No role model, no mentor, no coach. So I had to go out of my country, go out of Africa to begin looking at places like America, Canada and Europe to begin to see who can get us mentored. But you know that geographical distance is all also a barrier. So this issue of mentorship and coaching was a big issue for us because we didn't have someone to orders by the end and say, No, you have to do it like this and like this or like this. And when you talk, this is a nice thing you do. You know, there was nothing like that and that really made us exhaust so much energy. Until three months ago I attended the hackathon and I sat there in the hackathon organized by SONSIEL. And the coming in were so, so empowering were so, so amazing and inspirational that I felt if we have had these comments as African nurses in the last three years, we would have done so much. Mentorship as being another problem setback that we add. But fortunately, fortunately, this is changing. The learnings we have taken from there is that we need to maximize the power of digital technology to begin to connect with people who can make the journey easier with people who can make the journey faster. For us, with people who can always by the end and take us through the journey in a seamless to take us through a seamless journey. We need to begin to develop digital innovations, not the innovations that will close that geographical boundary and connect nurses in Africa with world-class nurses, we can actually make the journey in the field of nursing innovation in the field of nursing leadership very, very easier than it has been.

Rebeccah Love:
Oh my gosh, Josiah. You know, there were three takeaways that I took away from the setback, and the first one you said was when you are an innovator and you have this idea in this, you go out to the world and so many and you can't find anybody who has and shares that vision. And I think I hear this from so many young entrepreneurs who you hear so much more no than you ever do. Yes, when you start out and the thing that keeps you going is that internal belief that what you believe you're doing is going to change the world and it has to come from within and within you. It has always come. And then your statement that you were trying to do a digital mindset in an analog world and those who were in the position of power, who those who had the ability to make those changes just could not accept or adapt to that new mindset. And that is always the issue with innovation. Innovation is about challenging the status quo, about challenging that analog world to say No, we are living in a new era and digital can do this. And that last statement to me is one of the most powerful. Access to mentors, to people who can help you make your dream a reality. And for three years, you worked at this and it was coming in with your team to nurse hat for health, the hackathon that suddenly you said the world of digital connected us finally with people who can help us further do that and that powerful statement that digital can close the geographical boundaries for nurses and actually for anyone in the. The world to get access to others who can help them accelerate and grow and move their ideas forward to help empower that profession, our profession, and health care, in general, was just so incredibly powerful. And what you are doing, your story of going back to school in 2015 to study media broadcasting because you knew you needed to learn it to change it. It's just everything you do has been a journey from your first time of graduating, you know, decades ago at this point and moving that profession forward. So desire. Tell me, what are you most excited for today?

Josiah Jackson-Okesola:
Let me tell you, I'm most excited that we have someone call Rebecca Love. That's one of the things that get me exactly, you know, every single time I look at you from the first day I saw you on text talk after this moment, it is an inspiration. It's an exciting thing to know that you have someone you look at and say, Oh, this is exactly who I want to be like. This is exactly what I want to do with my career. This is exactly where I want to be in the future. And then when you have such inspiration, it empowers you. It takes you from the place of disempowerment to that place of self-belief, self-motivation, and self-confidence circumvention that is nothing you set your mind on that you cannot achieve because you see people who are even doing a hundred times more of what you are dreaming. That is exciting for me. So apart from that, understanding that COVID 19, the post-pandemic era is bringing in new opportunities for the nursing profession is exciting. The pandemic came as a blow to the world, but like the saying, in every disappointment, there is a blessing. It's almost like the pandemic opened up the world of digital innovation to nurses and say Here you are. Go rule your walk. Go conquer your world. I'm so excited that we have not even tapped into half of the power of digital innovation of nursing innovation as a profession. And I'm looking at 10 years' time. I'm looking at five years that I'm imagining what we are able to do as nurses. How will we be able to change health care systems in any part of the world with the power of nursing innovation, with the power of digital innovation? I am excited that there is a new feed called Nursing Innovation. I am excited that is a feat called design thinking that is coming into nursing. I am excited that there's a feat called artificial intelligence that we can incorporate into the Muslim profession. Africa is excited about these new opportunities and that gives me a lot of fulfillment and satisfaction that come from a place of disempowerment. And we are now positioned at that place of empowerment where we believe nothing is impossible.

Rebeccah Love:
Nothing is impossible, Josiah. And you humbled me and honor me because I remember this has always been a journey and it's always been a dream and it's always been a passion. And like you, it's been going out there every day just pushing a boulder up a hill and working a full-time job and raising a family and believing that if every day we got up and we could just find one more nurse who believed in the future of nurse innovation and believed in design thinking, believed in artificial intelligence and believe that we as a profession could do this differently what our profession can be. And it's been finding people like you and all the other nurses in the world who through conversations of those who did believe that the status quo was failing us in nursing and who wanted to go out there and talk about nursing differently. We have been able to start something and make the world look at nursing differently and you, you are doing such tremendous work and it is so exciting to have you part of this and to have you changing the way that nursing is operating in Africa and now in the UK and beyond. And the work that I know you are going to do and the work that you are building to with this digital movement and training is so exciting. And Josiah, where can people find you if they want to contact you? Where are you on social media? What website can we share? Can you give us some links and handle if people want to reach out to you? How can they find you?

Josiah Jackson-Okesola:
Ok? Social media is a powerful tool, and we can't afford to stay out of it though sometimes it can be really, really draining on social media, and I'm active on social media because it has to be. On LinkedIn, my name is Josiah Jackson Okesola. On Facebook. I'm active on Facebook. Josiah Jackson-Okesola. On Twitter, I am @JayjayProf. Same on Instagram. Recently I just designed my own website in my name, www.josiahjacksonokesola.com, which will be unveiled in about three weeks' time and events that we're planning for African nursing. So always available through this means.

Rebeccah Love:
Oh my gosh. Well, for anyone who wants to speak to one of the most incredibly powerful and rising voices in the nursing world, please reach out to Josiah. The work that he is doing. The empowerment that he is bringing to the profession on a global level is something that I cannot wait to watch, support and elevate. So for all of you who have turned into Outcomes Rocket Nursing, thank you for being here. Josiah, thank you for being here.

Josiah Jackson-Okesola:
It is an honor to have to be on your show, Rebecca. It is an honor. Thank you so much for the privilege. Thank you for the opportunity. Thank you always for the inspiration.

Rebeccah Love:
Josiah, you represent the best of what our profession is becoming. So for everyone, we look forward to tuning in with you again shortly. Come and follow us at Outcome's Rocket Nursing podcast and in the future, join us again to hear from other incredible nurses that are doing incredible things to change the future of nursing and health care. Thank you.

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Things You’ll Learn

  • The nursing profession is being underutilized globally.
  • Most of the health care systems in Africa that are weakened are being aided as we speak by the nursing workforce. 
  • Use the power of digital media to educate the public about nurses. 
  • Nursing is more than a calling. Nursing is innovation. Nursing is leadership. Nursing is policy-making and decision-making. Nursing is about providing solutions, inventing solutions.
  • Empower nurses with knowledge about what nursing really is and then empower the public to have a deeper understanding of who nurses really are.
  • There was a massive misrepresentation of nurses on media.
  • People need to begin to understand that nurses are the most important workforce in the sector, and they need to be at the center of the discussion.
  • Nursing has gone beyond just sitting within four walls of the hospital and caring for the sick.
  • There is a need to invest in African nurses and midwives. 
  • You hear more noes than you ever hear yes when you start out.
  • It can be hard to make changes when those who had the ability to make those changes could not accept or adapt to that mindset. 
  • You need mentors to help make your dream a reality. 
  • Digital technology can close geographical boundaries for nurses and anyone in the world.
  • In every disappointment, there is a blessing. 

 

Resources

Connect with Josiah at