When nurses talk, there’s no doubt they share some humor or stories that someone who’s never been a nurse just won’t get. But nurses don’t always have a chance to talk shop and swap stories. Even rarer are the times when they can dig more and share their deepest thoughts about this unique profession.
A nurse retreat offers all that and more. Nurse retreats are a professional development course, therapy session, and spa weekend rolled into one.
According to Jan Landry, co-founder of The Sacred Art of Nursing, nurse retreats can help nurses refill their well. “Our hope in retreats is to give nurses a mindful approach to nursing care,” says Landry. “Retreats offer skills and self care.”
Retreats are for nurses of all practices. Whether they have been nursing for one year or 40 years, have been an ER nurse or in management, retreats are a way to come together and be with like-minded people. “There’s something that happens when a group of nurses get together and share deeply from their hearts,” she says.
What can you expect at a nurse retreat? All retreats are different, but many share the same goal of talking about the journey of nursing, and what that means to personal and professional growth. The experience of talking with nurses from so many different backgrounds helps normalize what many nurses feel about their jobs. It’s not always easy being a nurse and it’s certainly something that is life-changing on a day-to-day basis. Although many outside the profession don’t “get it,” fellow nurses do.
“Nurses talk about the inspirations and challenges,” says Landry. “They talk about the things we all experience but never talk about. There is the safety to name some of that and share the humanity of nursing.”
And, like any retreat would suggest, there’s time to just rest. “One thing we noticed when we had our retreats is that nurses were really tired when they arrived,” says Landry. Being able to come together with other nurses away from a professional environment gives the conversations about nurse bullying, the generations of nurses working now, or even the challenges of certain types of nursing an opportunity to expand to everyone present.
“Some of our sessions are lighthearted and poignant,” says Landry, “and sometimes something only a nurse could understand.”
And Landry hopes nurses who go on retreats are able to take away a new perspective and a sense of renewal. “It’s a real honoring of the incredible work nurses are doing,” she says. “I hope they are taking away a deeper respect for themselves, other nurses, and the nursing profession.”