For this author it took so long before coming up with the brands Carelee and Compleat nurse. For him, it has
been 26 years in nursing (21 of these at the operational level or what we call bedside nursing), and the
struggle never really goes away but you just learn how to handle it. After transitioning from one aspect of
nursing to another over the years I know better.I still do 16 hours of clinical work per week but mainly as I
mentor the undergraduate nursing students.
I worked mostly in public health facilities with only a short stint in some private hospital and a glimpse at
the US as a student. I have had the opportunity and privilege to see health issues from a variety of
Many times I struggled with meaning and burnout just like many other nurses I know did. In those 20plus years I have seen and worked in shortages both at the bedside and in management positions. The longest
time in my career was as a backroom staff: I delivered babies for hundreds of women, took directions and
orders at the bedside etc. In the years as a nurse manager, I implemented policies and protocols, worked on
and implemented hospital based nursing courses. But my main concern was always taking care of ‘my’
nurses and having their interests at heart. I tried to ensure that essential resources and support were made
available to them. I helped create support groups among staff. We held frequent come togethers and
debriefing sessions. The most critical period was the nurse manager phase, they were my best years as a
nurse. There were so many challenges but looking back I see I had some great times, like this was what I
was made for, though I did not realise it then…
But like many a nurse knows, a life long career at the bedside is a thing of the past in today’s healthcare
environment. In resource-constrained settings especially, it can suck the life right out of a person (My 2
cents). This does not mean that this author advocates that nurses leave the bedside. Not at all, on the
contrary the bedside is the backbone of nursing, but it also breaks a few bones. One needs to know how to
balance – when to hang on, when to take a rest from it or when to leave all together. Do not just walk out,
not yet!Whatever choice you make remember that once a nurse always a nurse.
Having got my MSN from University of Colorado Denver, US I believe that I have the best of both worlds.
Nonetheless, as a student of health systems and health policy, I believe I finally found my niche.. Many of
my opinions are still forming and I soon found that the one way of going around these was by asking
questions. It has taken time, long enough to be relevant and hopefully make a contribution. My focus now
endeavours to unravel and explain this phenomenon in as far as its limit permit. Perhaps suggest solutions
whenever I can.
My background as a clinical nurse, leader, educator, researcher, blogger [www.compleathealthsystems.com as Compleat_Nurse] provided a lot of fodder for my projects. I am all eyes and ears everywhere I go. It
gives me so much energy that I have something to look forward to every time. I push myself to look into
what else, where else, whys and why not’s. The motivation? – I realized that once I made a clear decision to
focus on this winding path, opportunities seemed to appear from out of the blues.’
What is your story? I would like to create a repository of stories by Kenyan nurses who are willing to share. If you do not wish to disclose your identity that is just fine. What matters are the tipping points, breakthroughs, turning points and inspirations that others could learn from.Who knows what this might lead to. Lets do it.
Just by filling in the attached contact form, a brief outline of your story in the space provided. I will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also choose to send directly to Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my Facebook wall Compleat Nurse.