An Ordinary Nurse – Part 2 of 2

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, August 14th, 2012

It wasn’t until my baby boy was graduating from high school that I knew it was time to tell the story that few people knew. But I didn’t know how to be a writer! So I took every writing course, seminar and retreat I could and bought countless writing magazines and books.  And I learned to be a writer.

After being rejected by twenty-one of the top publishers in the nation, my book, This Must Be My Brother was actually sold! And published! With my name on the cover!  At that time, a nursing organization I was a part of asked me to speak at their state conference. Who me? Speak?

I didn’t how to be a speaker. So I joined the National Speakers Association and bought countless speaking magazines and books. And I learned to be a speaker.  “Share lessons from Operation Babylift,” they had said. So I penned my keynote, Balancing Life in Your War Zones, (because we don’t have to be in Vietnam to be in a war zone.)

To my astonishment, another state nursing chapter asked me to present at their state conference…and then another asked…and then another. Before I knew it, my little speaking hobby demanded to be a full-time career.  When I learned to write my own story, I was hooked, so I began writing everyone else’s and submitting them for publication too.

When my own appeared in Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul, I became one of the series’ most prolific contributors, with stories in eleven more of their books. I met the co-authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen and told them they needed to do a book for nurses, because nurses are chicken soup for the soul. I was stunned when they called two years later and asked me to co-author it.

By then I had quit my day job and was speaking to nurses full-time, giving them tools to care for themselves as attentively as they do everyone else. At every event, I collected their stories, and eventually read 2000 to select the top 101 for Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul. When that book hit the New York Times Best Seller list, Chicken Soup asked me to coauthor nine more, including Chicken Soup for the Nurses Soul, Second Dose and I read 2000 more amazing stories from nurses.

Today I speak to nurses and work with hospitals to encourage all their employees to practice “SelfCare for HealthCare.”  I’m still a nurse, just caring for lots of people at a time.

I’m living proof that an “ordinary nurse” can do something small and make a big difference. Like you do….every day.

As a nurse speaker, I specialize in nurse recruitment, nurse retention, and work life balance and can help improve morale, retention and recruitment. CONTACT ME TODAY to talk about my powerful keynotes, workshops and programs. I look forward to helping your organization achieve its goals.


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