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AORN Blog - The Periop Life

3 Self-Care Actions to Recharge Your Purpose

Jade Simmons 
November 7, 2021


“There is power in purpose. But too often people don’t realize that true purpose is only understood when you see it through the lens of what happens in others when you do what you do,” says Jade Simmons, an award-winning concert pianist and activist who travels the country helping others harness the power of purpose.

“Nursing, by default, is a purposeful job—when you care for others, lives are altered. As a nurse you have a service-based identity, and I see service as the great superconductor to provide a reserve of fuel to thrive,” she adds.

As the pandemic continues, nurses need this reserve of purpose and positivity more than ever.

For those feeling burned out and stretched thin, Simmons suggests ways to recharge that center around three self-care actions nurses need to make time for:

  1. Rest (Physically and Emotionally)

Sleep deprivation robs us of the energy to think clearly and succeed in doing what we love, so nurses need to listen to their bodies and catch up on sleep, Simmons stresses.

Beyond getting more sleep, a nurse can rest in purpose, she adds. “Decide very intentionally to only give your biggest burst of energy to the patient in front of you – not the paperwork, drama or confusion behind you.”

  1. Recognition

Service-oriented people will say they don’t need recognition but it’s human nature to need your work recognized. In the craziness of the world today, nurses may not receive the acknowledgement they deserve from others, but that is okay because “nurses can make their own scorecards,” Simmons suggests.

“Ask yourself ‘how many people smiled at me today, how many people thanked me today or wanted to have a conversation with me as their nurse,’” she says. “These positives add up and give your brain less space to catalog the negatives.”

  1. Reflection

Taking time to reflect on what you have experienced through the pandemic, or any crisis, gives you time to fully understand what happened and to find moments of gratitude. “The way nurses have responded through the pandemic reveals much about who they are as people, how they are built, and what they need to function powerfully,” Simmons says.

Whether or not you have had time to reflect on the pandemic and all you have experienced through the ongoing crisis, transformation is happening on an individual level and for the broader healthcare profession, she explains. For example, issues of race and equity, health disparities, and even preparedness for a pandemic response are being discussed at high levels.


Simmons hopes nurses will take time to speak up while the world is watching and listening. “Maybe your purpose is bigger than you ever thought. Maybe you’ve learned you have a new vision on how to serve—who better to present that case than the people who are living it.”

Make plans to attend Jade Simmons’ powerful and inspirational performance at the opening keynote during Global Surgical Conference & Expo 2022, March 19-23 in New Orleans.

AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo. March 19-23, 2022 - New Orleans, LA. Register Now