MOTIVATE
September 6, 2017

The "Murses" Of Instagram: Saving Lives And Breaking Stereotypes

By Angelina Gibson

It’s funny how people joke about being “Instagram famous”...like it’s a bad thing. With over 700 million users, Instagram has the ability to influence society across boundaries. 

These inspiring men enjoy lives of travel, business, health, family, and success all while dressed in scrubs. More importantly, they're showing the next generation that, yeah, the newest iPhone is cool - but, you know what’s even cooler? Degrees. 

 

Not Your Average Nurse 

Rockin’ their snapbacks, piercings, tattoos and - gold plated stethoscopes - the male nurses of Instagram obliterate the stereotype of the “murse.” They’re not “wannabe” doctors, they're not "weak", and they’re not stupid.

"Perfect" nurses only exist in movies! When you click on #nurse in Instagram and see REAL nurses - you’ll quickly notice that nurses are far from that stereotype. 

They struggle. They experience sadness and fear. They don’t have all the answers. They’re not perfect. Their scrubs might be designer. And...

Newsflash! They’re not all women. 

Nursing License = Endless Opportunity

These guys are showing that a nursing degree can be the key to success - whatever that means for you.

Want to travel and get paid for it? Become a nurse.

Want to make over 6-figures a year? Become a nurse.

Want to help others? Become a nurse. 

Want to be an Instagram celebrity? Become a nurse.

They’re Resilient…

What we love about these men is that they’re resilient. They’ve overcome every hurdle that was put in the way of their success: personal injury, loss of a parent, generational poverty, systematic oppression, incarceration, and even failing the NCLEX 3 times. They’re changing the face of healthcare one #hashtag at a time.

@officialmursemike

Michael Kearse RN, CCRN - Surgical/Trauma, Neurology Intensive Care, Emergency and Flight Nurse

Flight nurse by night, family man and nursepreneur by day - he may have failed the board exam on his first try but, that didn’t stop him from achieving his goals! 

His advice to other nurses:

  • Persistence and perseverance 
  • Your Network is your net worth, therefore learning to network is essential.
  • NOTHING great comes from staying in your comfort zone! When pursuing new goals ventures and/or opportunities there will be uncomfortable times. Sometimes we have to encounter uncomfortable situations to get us to a more comfortable position in life.

Read more about Mike’s amazing journey to nursing below.

@BlakeTheMurse

Blake DeBoard BSN, RN, CCRN - Intensive Care 

A star football player who, as a child, witnessed nurses save his mother’s life. Now a Neuro ICU Nurse - he’s achieved every goal he’s set for himself - including being the first person in his family to graduate from college and being accepted into 3 CRNA schools. But, it wasn’t easy.  Read the rest of Blake’s story here.

His advice for other nurses:

  • If I were to offer advice to anyone thinking about pursuing nursing as a profession, it would simply be to GO for it. Be proactive. Get out of your comfort zone. 
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions. Whether it is a new hospital admission, new patient assignment on day three of your four-day stretch, a doctor at the bedside, a community health project, or the first day on a new unit. 
  • Nursing at its core is centered around assessment. Sometimes it may put you out of your comfort zone, but do not be afraid to ask. That is how you learn, and learning is how you grow as a professional. 
  • For those nurses and nursing students with the goal of getting into CRNA School, I would say -  if I could do it so can you. Don’t stress about programs only accepting Cardiovascular (CV) ICU experience. When I had applied, interviewed, and been accepted into all three programs I had never even stepped foot into a CVICU. At the end of the day, a group of professionals in the form of a panel interview and validate your readiness. 
  • Chase your dreams.
  • Take time to treat yourself! The flexibility of scheduling that comes with being a nurse and the decent compensation presents opportunities to travel and do things you might not be able to do in other professions. Working in the ICU you learn quickly that tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone. Take the time to experience, see, and do the things you have always wanted to do! 

@iv_que

Geremy Wooten BSN, RN, CCRN - Intensive Care Unit 

A devoted father, husband, and Sigma Theta Tau - his passion for nursing is exemplified through many achievements - including the daisy award and pursuing his master’s degree. 

His advice for other nurses:

  • My best advice for the new graduate nurse is to ALWAYS remain calm and confident. You’re not going to know everything there is to know about the practice of nursing. Trusting yourself around your colleagues as well as your patients will instill so much self-worth and boost your confidence as a nurse. It also increases your patient’s overall comfort level and their trust within you to ensure they are in good hands.

Learn more about Geremy here.

@Wali_khann

Wali Khan, BSN-RN - Trauma Intensive Care Unit

Though a horrific spinal injury during his final semester of nursing school caused him to fail the board exam 3 times - he persevered. His story is one of resiliency, strength and unsurmountable faith. Read more here.

His advice for other nurses:

  • Never quit.
  • Remember that your failures do not define you, but how you deal with them does.

@jip_c_king

Carlos Straus BSN, RN - Intensive Care/Cardiovascular Intensive Care.

The jip_c_king has come a long way. When he was locked up behind bars he dreamt of a life of freedom, travel and financial security. The life he lives today is better than his wildest dreams.

Unlike many of my fellow colleagues, nursing was not my first career choice. Read more about Carlos’ story here.

His advice for other nurses:

  • The best advice I can give is to stay humble and don’t underestimate yourself. As my father once told me, “people will always try to find faults in you. But if one, two, three, or any combination of the three F’s don’t apply - don’t worry about it.”
  • What exactly are the 3 F’s? If someone isn’t feeding, funding or fu@$%!* you, their opinion means little to nothing and shouldn’t affect your course in life. Don’t let others keep you from pursuing whatever it is that makes you happy.

If you have any questions or just want to shoot the shit hit me up on Facebook (cjsuarez81) or on Instagram (jip_c_king).

@TheTraumaGuy

Luis DeRosa BSN, RN, EMT-P - Trauma and Disaster Response.

Not only was he one of the first disaster response nurses to arrive at Hurricane Harvey, he also works as a Trauma Nurse at one of the busiest trauma hospitals in the country. Read the rest of his story here.

His advice for other nurses:

  • Don’t become stagnant in what you do. Don’t just swipe in and swipe out.
  • Do one great thing every day. If you follow this, great things will come to you and your path to that trauma, oncology, pediatric, critical care unit will open up for you. 
  • Listen to yourself, don’t listen to others!
  • Love what you do!
  • Learn as much as you can!

Related: Hurricane Harvey - How Nurses Can Help

@_Jeremynoel

Jeremy Noel, BSN, RN - Pediatric Intensive Care

His upbringing influenced him to become a nurse. Today he saves the lives of some of our littlest patients and moves somewhere new every 13-weeks. Read about Jeremy’s story here.

Best advice for other nurses:

  • Follow your dreams and pursue the things that bring you happiness. The leap may be scary, but the flight is always worth it!

@nursemendoza

Edgar Mendoza BSN, RN - Cardiovascular Intensive Care/Intensive Care

He’s been in the social media game for years - inspiring an entire generation of nurses along the way. Despite his popularity - he holds true to his passion for diversifying nursing and leading a health and wellness movement. If you’ve never heard of the charismatic and genuine, Nurse Mendoza, prepare to be inspired (or, starstruck!)

Read more about Edgar’s incredible dedication to the nursing profession.

@murse_enrique

Enrique Cenicerso - BSN, Burn ICU

The epitome of the American Dream, Enrique faced countless obstacles on his road to success. 

Best advice for nurses: This advice changed my life. A very special person told me “Para salir adelante ay que Vivir como nadien quiere para después vivir como Nadien puede.

Which means “to get ahead in life, you have to live like no one likes or wants to live so one day you can live like no one can or is able to live.

Work hard, do the dirt no one wants to do, work your way up, spend the long hours studying, make the sacrifices, ask the questions, write that extra study guide, work those extra hours and trust me, once you accomplish your goal the first people clapping will be the ones that doubted you the most. 

Read more about Enrique’s road to success.

A Growing Trend

While the most recent statistics show men still as a clear minority in the nursing field - a noticeable change is occurring. According to a 2012 U.S. Census Bureau study, “Men in Nursing Occupations,” which presents data from the 2011 American Community Survey, the percentage of male nurses has more than tripled since 1970, from 2.7 percent to 9.6 percent. Of the 3.5 million employed nurses in 2011, 3.2 million were female and 330,000 were male. The face of nursing is changing, and these men are leading the way - thank you for all you do and for being you! 

Related: Why More Men Should Be Nurses


The Full Stories

MIKE KEARSE, AKA MURSE MIKE, AKA ONE-STICK MIKE

I started my website, gogoNurse, because I saw an unmet need for travel nurses, but in the process of building out my idea, I realized that I had even more to offer by sharing my own story.  Although my nursing career is flourishing, the road to success was not easy and required a few detours and pitstops.

I decided to use social media to show people the man behind gogoNurse - Murse Mike. I am authentic with sharing the details of my life, in hopes of building a supportive online community that openly discusses the good, the bad, and the ugly of nursing - including the process of becoming a nurse. 

Setbacks As Motivation

Unfortunate circumstances almost ended my nursing career before it even began. Two years into my studies as a nursing student, I learned that my program was losing accreditation and would have to restructure. The students who chose to stay in the restructured program would add another year onto their undergraduate studies. I opted to change my major. I graduated with a degree in Healthcare Management and began a new nursing program the following semester.

Throughout nursing school, there were moments when I questioned my career choice. I failed my very first class. I was lucky that my former professors vouched for me and told the Dean I was capable of becoming a nurse. I was able to stay in the program, but had to start over the next year. In my third semester, I failed a second class by 0.6 points. I was sure that I would be dismissed from the program. I wondered if I should give up on nursing, even though I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. Fate, however, had other plans. I was able to remain in the program and graduated.

I hit another bump in the road shortly after graduation when I failed the board exam. After the 60-day waiting period, I took the exam again, passed, and jumped right into building my nursing career. I quickly realized that I was a darn-good nurse who happened to be a not-so-great test-taker. 

Moving Forward

These days, my toughest career struggle is balancing nursing with the rest of my life. I am juggling work, parenting, planning my wedding, building the gogoNurse brand,  and working towards my fitness goals.

For years, I have worked the nightshift and struggled to sleep during the day. I often wish I could spend time with my family or go to the gym over sleep, but I don’t want to compromise my patients’ care by going to work tired. Like many people, I pushed diet and exercise further and further down on my list of priorities. But now, I’m ready to change that and decided to let my followers in on my journey. 

I am opening up about my fitness goals with the gogoNurse community because my lifestyle as a night-shift nurse has played a major role in my weight gain. I was an athlete throughout high school and college, but with years of eating breakfast after my shift then going to bed, not getting enough sleep, and working on a schedule that doesn’t always allow me to make it to gym, I am now overweight.

I am determined to get back in shape, though. My recent knee surgery could have been a major setback, but I changed my diet and managed to lose weight despite my limited mobility. The rehabilitation from the ruptured quadricep tendon will be arduous, but I know that bearing extra weight on my knee will only make the healing process more difficult. I am using my injury as motivation to lose weight.

On the bright side, I have a few months to spend extra time with my fiance and our 1 year-old son, Maison (although I can’t keep up with him).

My life, like most people’s, has been a series of great moments of success, moments that caused me to stumble, and moments that knocked me flat on my face. My unique path has been one of struggle. Now, I want to use my platform to share my story and encourage aspiring nurses, current nurses, and anyone else who needs a reminder that the only way to find the light at the end of the tunnel is to keep going.

Michael Kearse, AKA “Murse Mike” AKA “one-stick Mike”, is a critical care certified Registered Nurse who works in both the Surgical/Trauma unit and Neurology Intensive Care Unit at Grady Memorial Hospital - level I trauma center. He also enjoys the challenge of a fast-paced emergency room and has stepped in to assist understaffed hospitals across metro Atlanta - when he isn’t jet-setting internationally as a flight nurse. 

Mike has been able to couple his love of nursing with his passion for travel. As a flight nurse, some days he travels to as many as three different states; other days, it’s three different countries. His dedication to service has even led him to use his talents for medical mission work around the globe. He has worked with medical teams to provide health care in Liberia, Guatemala, and Kenya.   

Back

BLAKE DEBOARD

Blake DeBoard BSN, RN, CCRN (@BlakeTheMurse on Instagram). 

I am a first generation college graduate, and a proud part of the ten percent of men working in the nursing profession. Similar to many healthcare professionals, my interest in the healthcare field stems from personal experience with familial health problems. 

When I was a young adolescent my mother was diagnosed with not one, but two brain aneurysms. Barely surviving the rupturing of the first, she rallied and successfully endured a craniotomy with a clipping of the second. 

Being so young at the time, this greatly impacted my childhood. Seeing my mother continually struggle was tough, but seeing the care and compassion provided to her from various members of the healthcare team gave our family hope.

She spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital in that two-year span. Throughout this period, her spirits remained high and the energy of those working with my mother radiated positivity.  

Family Support

Growing up the youngest of five in an athletic family, I was able to continue to lead as close to a “normal” life as possible during that time - thanks to my father and mother. Kudos to my father for pushing me to continue to do the normal activities my mother wanted me to do so I wouldn’t miss out on my childhood.

This period of life really taught me the meaning of selflessness and optimism - my mother eventually made a remarkable, full recovery.

Encouraged by her strength, I stayed engaged in athletics. By junior year of high school, I was heavily recruited by several Ivy League programs. Unfortunately, that spring I broke my fibula playing baseball and had to have surgery - a minor setback.

The surgery was pretty significant having my ankle reset, and a plate and five screws placed to fix my fibula. Preoperatively, I was extremely nervous. The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) that covered my case was extremely professional and reassuring throughout the process. Looking at this situation optimistically, this persuaded me to begin the process of shadowing CRNAs. 

Coming Back Strong

After months of physical therapy and dealing with the adversity from the surgery, I went on to earn a full ride scholarship to play football at Cumberland University (CU) in Tennessee. I chose CU for the nursing program and because of the positive impact the nurses taking care of my mother a half decade before had on my life. The confidence they displayed and optimism they shared throughout that time made a lasting impact. It inspired me to pursue a profession where I could care for others and their family members, with the same passion someone once cared for my own.

In college, I managed to play football all four years on full scholarship and graduated nursing school Magna Cum Laude and on the Dean’s List. I attended a smaller school that promoted a comfortable environment between faculty and students. In my junior year, I was awarded the Horizon Nursing award and in my senior year, the Jeanette C. Rudy Award in Nursing. I was also a member of the Nursing Student Government Association holding the position of Student-Faculty Representative. 

Athletically, I was named to the Capital One Football Academic All District II Team, First Team All Mid-South Conference, and received the National Football Foundation Bickerstaff-Pace Scholar Athlete Award. I went on to earn my Bachelor of Science in Nursing in May 2015.

The Road To Becoming A CRNA

With the long term goal of becoming a CRNA, I applied for positions that would get me into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) right away. Contrary to what nursing students may hear, ICU positions for new graduates are out there. I was accepted into the Nurse Residency Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. I worked in one of the largest Neurological/Neurosurgery ICUs in the country for over a year and half. 

At the eighteen-month mark, I applied for CRNA Graduate Programs, passed my CCRN, and obtained both my Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certifications. 

I was fortunate to be accepted into all three of the anesthesia programs that I applied to. 

I decided to pursue the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia at the University of South Florida, class of 2019. 

After obtaining my critical care experience and getting accepted into CRNA School, I went from the Neuro ICU to the Cardiac Cath Lab. At this time, I changed hospitals as well as states and went from working in the state of Tennessee to Florida. 

After three months of working in the Cath Lab, I realized the ICU was a better fit for my skill set and went back to working in the ICU/float pool.

But that is the beauty of nursing. If you want to try something new, you can. If you’re curious about another specialty, go for it. It is all about finding your niche. Once you find it, you’ll have the opportunity to make the biggest impact on the lives of your patients. 

Find your calling, love what you do, and your “job,” or simple “occupation,” transforms into your “profession.”

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GEREMY WOOTEN

Geremy Wooten has been a critical care nurse for 8 years. His specialties include surgical-trauma, medical, and oncology critical care.  Geremy graduated from Valdosta State University in 2009 with his BSN and is currently pursuing his MSN in Clinical Nurse Leadership (CNL) at the University of West Georgia where he is set to complete his degree in May of 2018. Geremy loves being a nurse because it allows him to utilize both his brain and his emotions simultaneously to provide holistic care to individuals in need.

In his free-time, Geremy enjoys competitive running, fellowshipping with friends, and spending quality time with his wife and daughter. One of his motto’s to live by is to “cherish each and every single moment in your life, whether it is positive or negative; eventually the negative will turn positive.”

In addition to becoming a newly inducted member of the Pi Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society at the University of West Georgia, Geremy was also honored as the 2017 recipient of the covenant Daisy Award for excellence in nursing at his facility of The Cancer Treatment Centers of America (Atlanta, Georgia)

He holds his CCRN certification and has completed several travel nurse assignments throughout New York City at NYP Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. 

Upon matriculation, Geremy plans to operate and function within the scope of practice of a certified CNL within a hospital system in the metro Atlanta area. 

In addition to being an AWESOME MURSE, Geremy is also a brand ambassador for Cherokee Uniforms and Barco Uniforms. Keep an eye out for takeovers conducted via @iv_que for your chances to win cool giveaways and prizes. 

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WALI KAHN

I’ve felt what it feels like to experience rock bottom. To feel worthless. To feel as if my life’s work was futile. This smile you see is masked by countless tears, moments that nearly killed me, pain, anger, abandonment, betrayal, failure, failure and more failure.

I share with you a story not many know - I’m not embarrassed or ashamed. Why should I be? These are my trials. In fact, what I’ve experienced has only strengthened my faith in the decree of God. I wasn’t always this ‘great’ Trauma nurse you all see on social media. In fact, I almost never became a nurse.

I experienced an injury that led to two spinal surgeries during my last semester of nursing school leading into my board exams. My pain was indescribable, and I was placed on heavy narcotics and muscle relaxants. Due to the fact I was literally doped up, unable to sit, concentrate, or even be coherent at times. 

I FAILED my nursing boards. Not once. Not twice. THREE times. Each time I barely made it through the exam. 

But you know what? I NEVER EVER quit. I was so frustrated with myself, with God. But I knew these were my defining moments. These were the times that defined “faith” for me. I called and called, and He answered. He answered In his way - not mine. Shared his wisdom that I perhaps was too short-sighted to see. God placed people around me who kept my hope and spirit alive. 

I passed the board exam - on my 4th attempt. 

Did it hurt? To work and put so much effort but see no fruit of my labor? To watch everyone I graduated with succeed and I remained in my state. It would be a lie to you and to myself if I said it didn’t. 

Why do I share this with you? So you remember your failures DO NOT define you.  They don’t define your past. Not your present. Not your future. It does, however, show the depth of your reliance upon God. It’s easy to be believers when everything is well. It’s the gut wrenching, dream shattering calamities that show us the depth of our conviction. You are EXACTLY where God wanted you to be. Where He needs you to be. 

I’m a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing. I have been a nurse for three years and began my career on a Medical Surgical floor. As a new graduate with no prior medical experience, I felt it was a great place to start because it allowed me to learn the essential skills needed to master bedside nursing. 

I always dreamt of working in the critical care setting, but unfortunately, as a new graduate, managers were reluctant to hire me without the fundamentals.

As the time passed, I found myself wanting to learn more, to take on more responsibility, and experience a greater challenge. I volunteered to be trained for the charge nurse position and became the youngest one on the unit. I also sought additional certifications to increase my knowledge base all while simultaneously seeking other opportunities for growth.

Since I was already employed at a level I trauma center, I wanted nothing more than to be in the Trauma ICU taking care of the most critically ill patients. After consulting my manager who served as a great advisor to me, I applied for the vacant position, interviewed and was hired.

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CARLOS STRAUS

I made some poor choices as a youth - including several arrests -  and spent almost 3 years in jail as a young adult. Due to my background, I was forced to take a somewhat unorthodox approach to get where I am today.  

Upon release, my options were extremely limited. I kept in touch with a friend who was also incarcerated with me - he invited to train at a dojo. I immediately fell in love with the sport and fought competitively for several years. At the age of 24, multiple injuries forced me to retire. 

At this time I was a new father and felt depressed and confused.

My mother, a nurse, convinced me to enter the nursing profession. I started as a CNA in 2004 at a nursing home and continued my education to receive my LPN degree. I graduated with my certification in 2005 and was “lucky” to be hired as an LPN on a Med/Surg floor at St. Anthony’s Hospital (St. Petersburg, FL).

I say I was lucky for two reasons - first, non-diploma nurses were being phased out of hospital systems at that time. More importantly my background, appearance (tattoos), “tell it as it is” disposition and affinity for 4-letter words were a far stretch from the “perfect” nurse. 

Thankfully, I had done some of my clinical rotations at St. Anthony’s and had met the CMO on several occasions. I wasn’t sure what he saw in me. I specifically remember him stating that I was “rough around the edges,” but nevertheless, he wrote me a letter of recommendation and I was given the position.

Over the next 2 years, I worked home health in order to supplement my income, but in 2007, I decided to move back to Miami. 

Unfortunately, even with my hospital experience - options were limited as an LPN. I accepted a position at a nursing home, but quickly realized that geriatric nursing wasn’t for me. I was ready to resign, but the director of nursing pleaded with me not to leave. She asked me to help the facility start a wound care program. 

Around the same time, I decided that it was in my best interest to pursue my Associate’s degree in nursing. Once again, my background caused some schools to deny my application. After a shitload persistence, I was finally accepted into the Miami Dade College LPN-ASN program and graduated in 2009. Upon completion of the program I was promoted to Wound Care Director.

In 2012, I felt stressed and burnt out and decided to try my luck in acute care. I also decided to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Nursing. 

As fate would have it, I landed an internship position at University of Miami Hospital working in the CCU. Once again, I encountered resistance but at this point I was used to telling people who doubted me to go eat a bowl of big fat polish sausages (putting it kindly) and learned to work twice as hard to prove myself.

I immediately fell in love with critical care and was like a sponge absorbing everything. 3 months after hitting the floor I was handling balloon pumps like a champ. After only 7 months, I landed my first heart and was handling VAD’s and ECMO’s (UM hospital didn’t have an official open heart unit and doubled as a CVICU). 

That’s when shit got real and I realized I had a knack for what I did. The combination of work politics, lack of appreciation and a festering desire to attend anesthesia school convinced me to move on. That and I had a huge case of wanderlust - I knew I needed to travel. 

I’ve never felt as alive as I do now, as a travel nurse. I’ve had the opportunity to work throughout the united states and internationally! So far, I’ve completed assignments at:  Palmetto General Hospital (Hialeah, FL) in Surgical ICU, Aventura Hospital (Aventura, FL) which is a level II trauma center working in a combined medical/surgical/neuro/trauma ICU as well as working in their CVICU, Cedars Mount Sinai (Los Angeles, CA) level I trauma center working medical/surgical/neuro/trauma ICU, Guam Regional Medical City (Dededo, Guam) working medical/surgical/neuro/trauma ICU, and now Commonwealth Health Center (Garapan, Saipan) working medical/surgical/neuro/trauma ICU. 

My travels have allowed me to travel 24 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan and other countries such as the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Palau, South Korea, Thailand, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia. This month I will be traveling to Hong Kong, next month to Bali (again), and Brazil in October. 

Prior to my traveling lifestyle, I had applied and was accepted to the Florida International University and Barry University for nursing anesthesia. I have so thoroughly enjoyed leaving my mark on this earth (and the pay as a travel nurse, depending on specialty, is about the same as a CRNA) that I have put off graduate school twice. However, I recently decided to bite the bullet and have reapplied in the hopes of starting in 2018. 

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LUIS DEROSA

When I became a nurse years ago I had no idea of all the amazing things I would experience. I’m currently immersed in the trauma specialty and a large portion of my career has been at a high volume trauma center in Miami.

I was always attracted to the adrenaline rush and excitement, but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I would be considered a trauma expert and a social media influencer among nurses. I am reminded that each and every day - with every DM, every email, every time a paramedic or medical student, PA or nurse thanks me for inspiring them to chase their dreams and goals. 

This keeps my “fire” lit. 

You see, I was once that wide-eyed student as well trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. But back when I was in college, unsure about my degree, social media barely excited and Instagram wasn’t even invented yet! No one was utilizing social media for education, motivation, or tips of the trade. 

These platforms have opened a new market for the professional student – and that market is called “ACCESS.” 

Students today have an abundance of access at their fingertips. If a student is curious about nursing - they are just one swipe, one like, one search or just one click away from finding answers. If you want to learn about critical care you have my good friend Nurse Mendoza, if you want to learn about becoming a Nurse Practitioner - you have my girl Katie Duke. These are just a few of the many specialists that are out there knowingly or unknowingly guiding people in the correct path through pics, blogs, vids, and the occasional “story.” 

My path to get where I am today was difficult to say the least. I worked in random ER’s all over south Florida, I did local assignments, worked in ICU’s, step down units, post cardiac cath units, etc. One thing was always for sure though, I never felt fulfilled or accomplished with my goals. 

I had this dream, it was like an itch I could not reach for years.  I wanted to be an adrenaline junkie in trauma, I wanted to help save the lives of people after car accidents, falls, burns, gunshot and stab wounds. But I didn’t have Instagram to refer to for pictures or an experienced trauma nurse that I could just DM with a question and get an answer immediately. 

For me, my “Instagram” back then was the 6th floor of a parking garage across the street at one of the busiest trauma centers in the country. While studying and even when I started working as a nurse, I would go up there to eat lunch or just read for hours at a time. This floor was in perfect view of the hospital’s helicopter landing pad.

All I wanted was a glimpse, just one approach, just one landing of the helicopter. I wanted to smell the fuel and the exhaust that was blown away for hundreds of feet in every direction by the rotors, which eventually made its way to the 6th-floor parking garage where a wide eyed student was watching in awe and dreaming of one day being a part of that team.And by far the best

And by far the best part, was that trauma team which consisted of nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists and techs running outside emergently as a unit and carefully parking the stretcher perpendicular to the side of the chopper. 

I used to see those teams come out wearing those PPE green gowns and I would tell myself - I want to be on that team. 

I did this for years while in school and after - sometimes I would be there for hours without seeing anything. But it didn’t matter, this was my Instagram back then, this is what fueled my fire and kept my drive going. Years later by keeping that fire lit and staying passionate about my specialty I eventually was hired in that same department.  

And as I write this I’m realizing I am part of that same team - I wear those green gowns, I can feel the sting from the rotor-wash, this is my helipad. It took a lot of hard work, training, attending courses that I had no business being in but this was my hustle. I didn’t listen to the naysayers or those people who have lost their drive and fire, I listened to myself - this is what I believed was the right course to take. 

And now I’m currently saving lives on a daily basis. This is what I’ve always wanted. 

This specialty can be difficult both physically and mentally but the most important thing to remember is to keep that fire going. That goes for me as well. I have to constantly keep busy and inspired. My fuel is educating and inspiring others who are in the position I was once in. 

Occasionally when I’m running out to the helipad to grab a patient that just suffered some major traumatic injury I’ll look out into the garage and reflect on how far I’ve come. Sometimes I’ll see what seems to look like a student on the 6th-floor studying and waiting for a glimpse of the chopper and the trauma team. When I spot these future #traumaninjas I give them a wave. Hopefully, my gesture will help encourage them to stay passionate and motivated to continue their path. 

I’m a Barry University alumni and #Miamitrauma nurse with 10 years trauma ER/ICU experience. Currently working at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Resuscitation Unit - which is a stand-alone Level 1 Adult and Pediatric trauma center and the only trauma training site for the U.S. Army medical teams before deploying to war. I specialize in the adult & pediatric populations, trauma, burns, and critical care. I’m also a University of Miami School of Nursing adjunct clinical instructor. As well as a Federal disaster response team member (trauma critical care team-South) and FIU Florida disaster response (FAST) team member. 

I’m passionate about being a #traumaNinja and excited to see the #showmeyourshears movement grow. I enjoy giving all my followers an inside look at what it’s like to be a #traumanurse in one of the busiest trauma centers in the nation - while trying to live a normal life at the same time. Get those trauma shears ready because it’s “E before A in the primary survey!” LMAO

Instagram - @thetraumaguy | Twitter - @the_trauma_guy | YouTube – The Trauma Guy

Email – Thetraumaguy1992@gmail.com

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JEREMY NOEL

I chose to become a nurse because I genuinely wanted to have a career that would allow me to impact other people’s lives. I wanted to wake up everyday and be given the opportunity to  save a life. I was raised in a very supportive, Christian family and those values have influenced my entire life. 

As a pediatric ICU travel nurse currently working in Guam (dodging North Korea) with VeroRN, I can definitely say that becoming a travel nurse is the absolute best decision I have ever made. I have had the opportunity  to experience  many new and amazing experiences that I never would have if I had remained in my comfortable life back home. 

I have scuba dived with sharks, skydived, paraglided, mountain climbed, spelunking, bobsled, snowboarded, snow skied - just to name a few. More importantly, have traveled to multiple different countries, experienced different cultures, and made amazing lifelong friends. 

As nurses, we have one of the most amazing careers. Nursing can take us to so many new opportunities and we are able to touch and heal so many lives along our journey. Follow your dreams and pursue the things that bring you happiness. The leap may be scary, but the flight is always worth it!

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EDGAR MENDOZA

Welcome to the Mind of a Hyperactive, Blunt and Dedicated Critical Care Registered Nurse…Whoa!!! My main focus is to diversify and reach out to all the different races, ethnicities and ages who are interested and have a passion to become a Registered Nurse. I’m representing for all my Male Nurses because we need to increase the male statistics in this medical field my NurseBrothers. #NurseGang #NurseBrothers #NurseSisters #NurseGrind

I have a total of 5 years of CVICU and ICU Critical Care experience with practical experience from the Med-Surgical and Telemetry floor. I had the opportunity to specialize in critical pre/post operative care, trauma, cardiac, burn and neuro patients. I offer practical experience and train/precept new nurses. I’m goal oriented and versatile overcoming adversities with a passion to provide invaluable patient care.

@CardiacStrong

My new official CardiacStrong Movement represents all my fellow Registered Nurses, LVNs, LPNs, CNA’s, Respiratory Therapists, Dietitians, Nutritionists, X-ray techs, Phlebotomist, Ultrasound teams & the rest of the Medical staff who’s part of the healthcare field working to incorporate Health and Fitness on a weekly basis staying CardiacStrong.

By having my CardiacStrong Registered Nurses be proactive for ourselves on and off the clock. We not only save lives, but are professional role models for our patients and most importantly for ourselves. Follow @cardiacstong on Instagram where we’re creating new boundaries for the world of nursing in fitness, health and nutrition. 

@nursepiration and medical mission trips

This account is all about #NURSEpiration - peace, love, advocacy, education and inspiration. You’ll also find information about medical mission trips - a community of Registered Nurses, Medical Doctors and many non-medical volunteers to help people around the world.

 We collect donations to fund our trips with 100% of donations going to help those in need - in honor of the Lord. Our mission trips provide medical relief and specific items, such as: 

  • Anesthesia
  • Dental services
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Medical utilities
  • Transportation
  • Lodging
  • Food
  • Goodie Bags with basic hygiene supplies

I interact with all my NurseBrothers and NurseSistersDon’t Forget to Follow & P.L.A.N (Peace, Love, Advocate NURSEpiration) 

Facebook:Nursemendoza | Instagram: @NurseMendoza @cardiacstrong @nursepiration

Youtube: NurseMendoza | Twitter: Nursemendoza | Snapchat: Nursemendoza1

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ENRIQUE CENICEROS

I specialize in burn intensive care treatment, which is my absolute passion. Right now I am working as a traveling ICU RN and consult for FITScrubs, a medical apparel company. 

My family and I immigrated from Mexico and settled In small, southern, town in Missouri. We arrived here with nothing and grew up extremely poor.

Growing up in the hood and in one of the poorest counties in our state, we saw our fair share of shortcomings. My mom was a single parent, caring for my brother and I, so we all had to work very hard from an early age to better our circumstances.

I worked every job I could get my hands on, from summers spent pitching hay, watermelons, cantaloupe, working construction, doing landscaping to working almost full time hours during the school year at a catfish restaurant as a dishwater and then a cook. I so whole heartedly wanted to change the circumstances I was in, refusing to become another statistic that said everything about me was meant to fail.

Against many odds and the wonderful help of so many teachers, coaches and genuine people who became my role models, I became a first generation graduate from Harding University. 

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