Writing about nurse well-being at the worst possible time

For much of the last year, I spent the majority of my work hours on one of the most important projects I’ve ever been involved in. HealthStream had just launched a nurse well-being app, Keener, and I was the person in charge of written content.

I wrote headlines, scripts and captions for videos, I created push notifications to try to get more nurses to engage with the app, and I interviewed dozens of nurses and nurse experts to try to help the people on the frontlines of a public health crisis avoid their breaking point. I also managed a team of freelancers who helped me keep up with the 15-article-a-month volume.

To be clear, the app didn’t launch because of the pandemic; it was in the works before the word Covid-19 was ever uttered. But nurse well-being in a global pandemic? Talk about a mission that felt particularly urgent and timely.

My contract ended in September 2021, but I am proud of the work I helped create while I was there. You’d have to download the app to see most of it, but this selection of blog posts from the Keener Library should help paint a pretty accurate picture for you:

5 things nurses can do today to improve their financial health: Well-being, and not just for nurses, is so much more than physical and mental health. Increasingly, we understand well-being to encompass financial health, as well. This blog post came out of conversations with a few nurses who had been-there-done-that when it came to financial stress. We also talked to three financial experts who have experience working with nurses on practical ways to reduce debt and feel better about their finances.

From one shift to another: Being a nurse while being a parent: This was another blog post that came out of multiple interviews with parents. One was a flight nurse for Vanderbilt University Medical Center who says good-night to his kids via Zoom when he’s on duty. Another was a parent to two kids under two. The third was somehow juggling the roles of parent, busy nurse practitioner, primary breadwinner and caregiver to an elderly parent. It wasn’t all storytelling, though—we also shared a few “pro-tips” from the parents we talked to and an expert or two on how to manage it all.

How one nurse uses self-care to cope with long COVID: Since I was in charge of finding story ideas for the Keener app (to the tune of 15 story ideas a month) I often found myself on public nurse Facebook pages and other sites where I might find out what nurses are talking about in the well-being realm. This was a blog post that started with the subject (Denise Federico) and then became a story of a nurse who, to manage her debilitating and lingering COVID symptoms, turned her focus to self-care (a concept that many nurses roll their eyes at).