From Nurse Boss Lisbeth Overton:
Welcome to the 20th installment of Nurse Boss. A blog series dedicated to nurses.
I was guided to create this series after a spark of creativity within my soul felt that it would help thousands of nurses.
My hope is that these interviews will ignite a spark in you or stir your inner landscape in a way that propels you to dream big and go after what it is that you desire in life and career.
A Nurse Boss is a nurse who has created a lifestyle that aligns their passion with their natural gifts and energy style in a way that helps others while also honoring their own body, mind, and soul. A Nurse boss walks their talk and they are open to receive the abundance that is theirs.
A Nurse Boss is more than a role or job he/she has, it’s a certain energy, a vibe, a mindset. A Nurse Boss has an uplifting energy and loves helping others, but not to the detriment of his/her own well-being.
Today’s Nurse boss makes me proud to be a nurse and yoga teacher. Meet Susan Turnage, registered nurse and yoga teacher extraordinaire. What Susan is doing for our world through yoga is profound. Our paths to the amazing Annette Tersigni, CEO & Founder atYoga Nurse Medical Yoga Therapy and Stress Relief happened exactly the same way, read about it below.
SUSAN TURNAGE, RN, RYT
1. What are you doing now?
Presenter of YogaNursing live trainings and lunch and learn programs at hospitals and at VCU School of Nursing, therapeutic Yoga teacher in community centers- 9 classes per week, working as an art conservation technician. I am treasurer of the newly formed Breathing Space Inc, a non-profit thats mission is to create a ripple effect of wellness in the Greater Williamsburg, VA area by providing wellness and meditation programs to underserved populations. I am a Virginia Institute of Marine Science volunteer in their Virginia Saltwater Game Fish Tagging Program.
2. Did you always have the desire to do what you are doing now or did someone or something create a spark in you that made you realize this was your calling?
At age 3 I knew I would be a nurse. Nursing has been both my vocation and avocation for over 4 decades. I have experience in hospital Nursing, Acute care, rehab, pediatric head injury, corrections, home health and call center telephonic nurse coach.
As western medicine moved toward focusing on lowering costs, eliminating positions, increasing patient loads and decreasing job security, I began searching for something new.
I began yoga teacher training and thought that yoga and nursing were quite complimentary. It was a wellness program for Every Body! It addressed the mind and body. From my own yoga practice I felt yoga’s healing.
I googled nurse + yoga and found Annette Tersigni! I took the online training. I went to North Carolina and took the live training. So overjoyed at finding a continuing education program that focused on the Wellness of the Nurse first, I trained to become a Certified YogaNurse® so I could become a Nurse for Nurses.
3. Why is nursing a great launchpad for nurses who want to create their own lifestyle doing what they love?
We carry experience wherever we go from Nursing. A nurse knows science, math, psychology, acting, conflict management, world religions, comedy, time management etc. Nurses are fearless. We never know what comes next, it’s great training for the business world. We ask questions. We have a malignant curiosity to learn new things. We are problem solvers and used to working independently.
4. What is the ultimate characteristic of a nurse boss?
Don’t give up.
5. What was the biggest obstacle you’ve faced to get to where you are now? How were you able to overcome it?
Income. To follow my passion to bring yoga to Nurses and my community it first cost me money for training. My gracious husband saw my passion and encouraged me to pursue it. We lived simpler and spent with care.
6. What does your current job allow you to do that traditional nursing did not?
Set my own standard of care and time line. I teach Nurses self care- I feel that I served as an RN for decades just so I would have the chops to teach Nurses self care. I know the stress, bullshit, exhaustion, elation, joys and complexities of being a Nurse. I have the hands of a healer, I teach Nurses how to recognize their own healing hands, heal themselves first, then use the Sacred Breath, Sacred Movement and Sacred Rest for their patients.
In my community yoga classes I teach yoga to those 30 and over. We don’t wear fancy yoga clothes. We practice in community centers. I teach anatomy, body systems, ways to think about their body and mind. We do guided meditation. Sometimes we laugh and talk a bit. Sometimes students fall asleep.
Yoga is what you need in the moment.
It’s a connection where I can be a nurse without a deadline or supervisor telling me to get to the next case.
7. For nurses who feel stuck in their careers what words of wisdom do you have to help inspire them to break out of their status quo?
That is not so easy to answer. For years I provided an income to support my family. Options to take additional expensive training to pursue a more independent track was just not there. First I had to heal myself. Rework my personal journey. Then the transition took place. First I had to admit I needed help. Al-anon gave me that, yoga gave me that. Then I faced very difficult decisions. All that time I worked in a profession that offered me an income and latitude to take one step at a time. I began to see a dream. I believed I could. It came and continues to unfold.
8. What resources can you share for nurses wanting to explore creating their own gig that actually pays them?
There are new resources emerging that are appealing to those of us coming from the world of science and seeking a broader approach to health. Exploring options like YogaNursing and the American Holistic Nurses Association who can enlighten you with many offerings. When I saw YogaNursing- I felt a burst of excitement and relief, I knew it was for me.
Now for fun:
9. What book or publication is currently on your nightstand?
“Mudra: The Sacred Secret” Indu Arora
“Principles and Practice of Yoga in Healthcare” editors McCall, Telles et al.
“61 Hours”, Lee Child
10. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
Philadelphia soft pretzel, purchased from a street table with traffic whizzzing by, from a guy wiping his nose on his arm just before handing you the bag of 4 pretzels.
11. How can we get in touch with you?
Susan Turnage RN, CYN, RYT500
Certified YogaNurse ®, Registered Yoga Teacher
Check out Nurse Boss and the wonderful new support site for Nurses that Lisbeth has created!