“They do have to sell themselves as nurses.”
The Nurse Power Network outdid themselves with their 3rd annual Nurse Power Brunch during the Essence Music Festival. Located at Morton’s Steakhouse on Canal Street, the restaurant was shut down for the event. 150+ attendees were present at the sold-out event, where the restaurant was transformed into a beautiful event space. The tables had feather arrangements, with flowers in vases filled with water. At the front of the room were a garden photo op and a place where the panelists were seated.
Health professionals, nurses, and entrepreneurs were able to wander in a section where the vendors were located and able to make purchases to the various small businesses that were present. Then, guests enjoyed a delicious brunch, with food such as French toast, link sausages, fresh fruit, chicken goujons, scrambled eggs and more.
A lot of the guests were buzzing about the event, excited to hear what the panelists were going to bring to the table. One of the panel speakers, Leadership Expert Brandi Brown, said that she liked attending these sort of events so to get something out of it and grow from the information provided. She continued by saying, “I’m not wasting my time. I love networking.”
Panel A, which was moderated by Chicks with Cheques owner Meisha Amia MSN, RN and co-creator of The Nurse Power Network consisted of Brittany Wilson, MSN, RN, Brandi Brown, and Briana Bradley, BSN, RN. The women were given specific topics that affect nurses and health professionals today. The panelists were transparent on their answers:
What is the biggest challenge that new nurses go through?
Briana answered that burnout and trying to be an influencer are two of the biggest concerns that she sees new nurses go through today,
“There’s a disclaimer because it’s important to represent transparency. I don’t understand how people I go to work with have their face BEAT! Also, if you’re sharing an antibiotic (on social media) but it took you forever to get it right, be honest about it! Make it transparent-this is what happens to me. Talk about what you go through on the floor (working as a nurse).”
Branding: What does it mean? Should nurses build it?
Brandi called nurses (401) Killers and emphasized that nurses should have something on the side, and to do something that they love,
“You don’t have to do something nurse geared.”
Brittany continued with the discussion and added that nurses should find mentors in their fields,
“There are people out there who want to help you out. Don’t be afraid to ask.”
One of the attendees enjoyed the open discussion. Kendalyn Edwards, a school counselor in Lousiana, said that she would take what the panelists said and apply it to her students,
“This was helpful in how we need to assist young Black girls and how to get them ready for the real world. We need support among Black women and have a sisterhood. We need to be in different rooms to know what’s going on in our fields.”
Panel B, which was moderated by Nicole Thomas, MSN, RN, CCM, co-creator of The Nurse Power Network, consisted of Brandi London, Tanesha Craig, Dr. Tomeika Luckett PhD, RN, Dr. Benita Chatmon, and Brandi Brown rejoined.
What common misconceptions are brought up in the nursing field?
Dr. Chatmon talked about the lack of representations of nurses in boardrooms.
“I’m on a hospital board where there are only two nurses on that board-the rest are physicians. When they give you a seat at the table, do you feel like you belong there? We need to teach nurses that once they leave school, they should take on leadership roles. I want to build them up to take my position one day.”
Tomeika said that a lot of people believe that nursing is an easy job.
“I like a good face beat, but going into work, I might have time to put on lip gloss. The job is rewarding, but it is a mental job.”
Tanesha brought fitness and health into perspective and encouraged nurses to make sure they are taken care of mentally,
“You need time for wellness before we have to take time for illness. Stop worrying about the bag & think about your health.”
Feeling bitterness/jealousy over someone else climbing the corporate ladder & feeling defeated in the field
Brandi London expounded on this topic on why some women might feel, “Why not me?”
“It’s ok to look at someone else, but if you look somewhere else for too long, you’ll miss out on what’s going on in your life. Look at yourself first. Create goals that are realistic and what you want to do-not what everyone else is doing. Remember: social media only shows the end result. Not the gritty of the business.”
Tanesha agreed, saying,
“Don’t wait for someone to give you a seat at the table. Go get it yourself. “We wanna be queens, but we don’t wanna fix the other queen’s crown.
Brandi Brown closed out perfectly, by encouraging the women (& some men) in the room to create their own values. mission statement & their vision for themselves. Erika Maxwell, a registered nurse who attended the brunch for the first time this year, thought this practice was very helpful,
“This taught me how to be confident & to know my worth. I will definitely find a mentor in my field (after hearing the panelists), and to just be myself. “
Overall, the attendees were able to gather powerful information & were inspired by other professionals. The event ended with Veronica Southerland, DWP(s), APRN, FNP-BC, FIEL receiving an award and being honored for all of the work she’s done empowering and uplifting other nurses and health professionals.
Vendors in attendance: Nurse Essentials, Grace Health Scrubs, Angelic Aesthetic, New Nurse University, Brown & Associates, Isig Zie, Six Figure Spa Chick, TaiVo Hair & Beauty, Therapy Bar, Nurses Travel Network, Gems by Jericho