A Latte and Your Nursing Career? The Nurse Keith Show, EPS 73

Back in August of this year, I wrote a blog post using the metaphor of a latte in relation to your nursing career. And you know what? People really resonated with the idea that

your nursing career

can actually be aptly compared to the art and flavor of a latte! Weird? Maybe. Cool? I think so! (All italicized quotes are from the original post).

Is your nursing career like a latte_

Think about a latte: a shot of espresso (“a rich, dense shot of coffee awesomeness that boasts deep flavor and a cultural history worthy of movies, books, and a great number of rabid fans around the world“) plus “a quantity of expertly steamed milk, and when it’s done right, the result is nothing short of miraculous in its creaminess, artfulness, and foamy aesthetic pleasure.”

From the aforementioned post:

As your nursing career is imbued with depth and breadth of experience, knowledge, skill, and nurse wisdom, your nurseness is like an espresso bean that has reached its peak of flavor and robustness. Your nurseness grows over time, and it takes on flavor and characteristics from everything with which it comes into contact.

A coffee bean is kissed by sun, watered by rain, fed by soil, exposed to the air, and then roasted to perfection. Similarly, your skills and knowledge as a nurse are also fed, watered, coddled, and roasted in the fires of the nursing profession (pardon the mashup of metaphors).

Where is your nurseness in terms of its development of a ripe and robust flavor? Is your career still young, enjoying the fertility of learning and soaking up the nutrients of experience? Or is your career fully ripe and bursting with the flavors of all you’ve seen and done?

As a mature nursing professional with significant experience under your belt, you’re like a perfect espresso: satisfying, flavorful, robust, and earthy. As a newer nurse, you’re already developing the flavor and depth of your chosen career.

Don’t Forget the Foam!

The steamed milk and foam that are poured into and over the espresso of your nursing career and nurseness are like the cherry on top of a sundae. The foam may be represented by a special certification or training, deep self-knowledge and self-awareness, keen emotional intelligence. additional degrees and academic achievements, or a vertical move into management or executive nursing leadership.

The foam that you add to the recipe of the trajectory of your nursing career is a rich froth born of all you’ve accomplished and achieved.

The Tools of the Trade

A plain old resume created without creativity is like a cup of coffee brewed in a diner. Does your resume come across as generic or unique and maximally impact? How can you make it more like a beautiful latte than a cup of stale diner coffee?

Meanwhile, cover letters can also be small works of art, with a flawless construction and non-generic personalized content. Your cover letters can feel like instant coffee, bland, lazy, and artless.

Add Spice!

Just as we add cinnamon, cocoa powder, nutmeg, or flavored syrups to our lattes and coffee drinks, we also add spice to our careers. A stint with Doctors Without Borders gives you a certain leg up on other candidates, as does having Johns Hopkins on your resume. You can also spice up your nursing resume and career with various forms of volunteerism, leadership, participation in research, or a demonstrated commitment to excellence.

Building a robust professional network also adds to the spice of your career; your contacts and valued colleagues are those who will write amazing letters of recommendation, endorse you on LinkedIn, serve as excellent references, and otherwise support your professional journey. They’re like sprinkles of dark chocolate shavings on the latte of your nursing career.

Be Flavorful, Nurses

Nurses, in order to stand out in the job marketplace, you need to be flavorful and unique. If you’re as generic as diner coffee, you won’t necessarily be as attractive to potential employers than if you were unique, flavorful, and thoughtfully put together.

Is your career a latte, a cappuccino, or a perfect Americano or cold brew? Consider the flavor you want your nursing career to have; bring those flavors forward with conscious effort and thoughtful consideration of how you can take your career to the next level, whether it’s decaffeinated, half-caff, or high test.


The episode of the Nurse Keith Show sponsored by StaffGarden, staffgarden.com/nursekeithThis episode of The Nurse Keith Show is brought to you by my friends at StaffGarden, a unique digital healthcare company allowing nurses to create a private online ePortfolio that StaffGarden shares with high-quality employers (with your permission, of course) in order to connect you with the best facilities and positions.

StaffGarden partners with fantastic employers seeking the best candidates in the nursing profession; through powerful partnerships with the recruiters and talent acquisition professionals employed by these healthcare leaders, they deliver your ePortfolio directly to the people who are looking for nurses just like you.

Having a StaffGarden ePortfolio and landing a job with a partnering employer costs you nothing. However, your ePortfolio will get you noticed for positions that you would likely not have access to through traditional ads or job postings.

As a nurse, partnering with StaffGarden adds depth and breadth to your job search process, as well as your exposure to some of the most progressive healthcare employers in the country. Allow SG to work for you and connect you with some of the greatest job opportunities in 21st-century healthcare.


The NNBA and Networking Nurses

In the fall of 2015, I recorded episode 29 of the Nurse Keith Show from Las Vegas, Nevada, where I was glowing from a glorious time at the annual conference of the National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA). Well, from October 14th to 16th of this year, I’ll be back at the 2016 NNBA conference with bells on, and I’m super psyched that Kevin Ross and Elizabeth Scala—my partners in crime at RNFM Radio—will also be with me.

The National Nurses in Business Association 2016 annual conferenceJust as a heads up, the three of us from RNFM Radio will be putting on a pre-conference workshop where attendees will be able to learn the basics of podcasting, and actually go home with all of the information they need to actually launch a podcast on a shoestring. There are other great pre-conferences on the schedule, as well, but we obviously want you to come to ours because it’s going to be fantastic. Check it all out here.


The Nurse Keith Show is adroitly edited and produced by Tim Hallowell of The PodcastingGuy.com; social media and promotion are expertly handled by Mark Capispisan.

Please consider leaving a review of The Nurse Keith Show over on iTunes; this helps more nurses and healthcare professionals find the show and benefit from the information being shared. Just visit iTunes, click on the iTunes store, search for The Nurse Keith Show under podcasts, and leave a review, and voila. Thanks!

Be well, dig deep, and keep in touch!

Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BCKeith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC, is the Board Certified Nurse Coach behind NurseKeith.com and the well-known blog, Digital Doorway.

Keith is co-host of RNFMRadio.com, a wildly popular nursing podcast; he also hosts The Nurse Keith Show, his own podcast focused on career advice and inspiration for nurses. Keith is also the resident nursing career expert at Nurse.com.

A widely published nurse writer, Keith is the author of “Savvy Networking For Nurses: Getting Connected and Staying Connected in the 21st Century.” He has also contributed chapters to a number of books related to the nursing profession, and currently writes for MultiViews News Service, LPNtoBSNOnline.com, StaffGarden, and Working Nurse Magazine.

Mr. Carlson brings a plethora of experience as a nurse thought leader, online nurse personality, holistic career coach, writer, and well-known successful nurse entrepreneur. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his lovely and talented wife, Mary Rives.

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