On episode 300 (woot!) of The Nurse Keith Show, Keith interviews the stellar Dr. Renee Thompson, CEO of The Healthy Workforce Institute, regarding the zeitgeist of the nursing profession as 2020 comes to a close amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Renee Thompson, DNP, RN, CSP, grew up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, the oldest of five kids. There was never a dull moment in the Rossi home as her parents provided anyone in need a seat at the dinner table and sometimes a place to stay. Renee’s father had a strong work ethic (still does) and worked hard to provide for his family. Her mom kept everyone fed, watered, clothed, and is extremely kind, generous, and loving. Renee acquired her drive to accomplish everything she could in this one precious life and her passion for helping others from her parents.

Adulting didn’t come easy for Renee at first. She married young and had two kids right away, without the means to provide for them. One day she looked around and decided she wanted a better life for her girls and for herself. So, she got her associate degree in nursing at a local community college, then got her bachelor’s, master’s, and finally, in 2015, received her doctoral degree in nursing. Along the way, she divorced her first husband and married the man of her dreams. Together, Ashley and Renee have built a life that they love.

Ten years ago, Renee took a leap of faith, quit a really great job that she loved, and started her own business. The business started basically as Renee – a speaker. Fast-forward to today, and she’s expanded the business beyond just her and now enjoys watching her company develop into an institute that serves numerous clients around the globe.

About the Healthy Workforce Institute:

What Drives Us: When disruptive behaviors go unaddressed in healthcare, bad things happen to patients and employees. At the HWI, we’re on a mission to create a world where bullying and incivility are immediately rejected and kindness, respect, and professionalism become the new norm.

Who We Serve: We work with healthcare organizations that understand that the way their employees treat each other SHOULD be just as important as the care they provide and are committed to doing something about it.

Our Clients: Want to do what’s necessary to improve the work environment, but don’t know how to start or what to do. They wish their employees would just stop the shenanigans and do their jobs. They come to us because they need help to swing the pendulum from where they are (bullying and incivility) to where they want to be (professional and nurturing).

What Keeps Our Clients Up at Night:

  • They worry that the new nurses they just hired will get eaten alive by the older ones.
  • They wish they could spend more of their time helping their employees grow, instead of constantly dealing with the “problem” employees.
  • They worry that their really great employees will get burned out and leave.
  • They’re afraid of failing as a leader.

When leaders are equipped with the skills and tools that they need their employees are more engaged, fulfilled, and better serve patients and each other. This results in high-performing teams with increased retention and improved patient outcomes.

We are passionate about this work because we understand it takes courage and skills to confront bad behavior in healthcare. We make it easy for you.

The Healthy Workforce Institute is a team of healthcare professionals led by Dr. Renee Thompson. Renee draws on her background as a nurse leader to share her message on creating a healthy workforce culture by eradicating workplace bullying and incivility.

Connect with Renee and HWI: 


This episode of The Nurse Keith Show is generously sponsored by the University of Portland School of Nursing

Interested in returning to school to become a nurse practitioner? Well, there’s good news! The University of Portland School of Nursing recently launched a Doctor of Nursing Practice Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program! This 3-year program is designed for registered nurses with a Bachelor of Science degree and students receive advanced training in geriatric and palliative care. It is a hybrid program with online courses and on-campus weekend immersions once per month. Not only is it one of a kind in the state of Oregon, but it also addresses a critical need due to a shortage in primary care providers with expertise in geriatrics and palliative care. In addition, the University of Portland has a Family Nurse Practitioner program for BSN-prepared RNs that is also delivered in a hybrid format with a focus on integrative health. Applications for both programs for summer 2021 are open and will be accepted until April 1, 2021. UP is charting the future for a strong and healthy community. Are you? Visit nursing.up.edu for more information.


The Nurse Keith Show is a proud member of The Health Podcast Network, one of the largest and fastest-growing collections of authoritative, high-quality podcasts taking on the tough topics in health and care with empathy, expertise, and a commitment to excellence.

Health Podcast Network


I’m very privileged and grateful to announce that The Nurse Keith Show is a proud member of Ars Longa Media, a collaborative network of podcasts, media entities, musical artists, and others with an aim to add a humanistic touch to professional education, educate the public from a scientifically informed perspective, and improve lives by strategically partnering with those who share our goals to address social ills.The Nurse Keith Show on Ars Longa Media


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Nurse KeithIn case you didn’t already know, Nurse Keith is a holistic career coach for nurses, award-winning nurse blogger, writer, podcaster, keynote and motivational speaker, and popular career columnist. With two decades of nursing experience, Keith deeply understands the issues faced by 21st-century nurses. From 2012 until its sunset in 2017, Keith co-hosted RNFMRadio, a groundbreaking nursing podcast. Keith’s message of savvy career management and professional satisfaction reaches tens of thousands of nurses worldwide. Keith can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram—as well as at NurseKeith.com.
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