Playing it Forward: From Master’s in Nursing to PhD in Psychology

On episode 380 of The Nurse Keith Show nursing and healthcare career podcast, Keith interviews Caroline Cárdenas, PhD, MSN, MA, RN, CBCN, an expert in the science of play. Caroline has completed and defended her doctoral dissertation, titled “The Significance of Play in Restoring Compassion”, and has a great deal to share about the journey.

Formerly a dedicated oncology nurse, Caroline’s vision is to serve as a play researcher and advocate, educator, clinical psychologist, and public speaker, as well as produce body and movement play retreats to guide women, breast cancer survivors, healthcare professionals, educators, nursing and medical students, and mothers all over the world to discover, explore, practice, protect, and share their unique creative expression through the sacred practice of play, with the hope of reawakening and fostering purpose, meaning, and authentic connection through shared joy.

Caroline is featured in James Redford’s documentary film, “Playing for Keeps”, where she speaks about her own journey of what inspired her to become an oncology nurse, her personal experience with burnout and compassion fatigue, her discovery of play through hula hooping, and how teaching hula hooping inspires and cultivates joy.

Connect with Caroline Cárdenas:


Nurse Keith is a holistic career coach for nurses, professional podcaster, published author, award-winning blogger, inspiring keynote speaker, and successful nurse entrepreneur.

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.

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