It's National Nurses Week, a time for recognizing the amazing work nurses do and the innovations, issues, and challenges they face in the healthcare industry. Nurses have been impacted tremendously by the complications and demands of the job, especially in minority communities that are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 fallout. Research shows that there are almost 4.2 million registered nurses in the U.S. and more than 325,000 licensed nurse practitioners. Black people make up the second-largest group of minorities in the field, at 6.7%.
And, while a global shortage of nurses has been widely talked about and reported (and there are indeed major issues in the industry related to burnout, salary inequities, and barriers to career advancement for Black nurses in particular), a U.S.-based study last year found that 81% of nurses indicated they have job satisfaction and, despite the challenges of a boom in demand during the pandemic, they planned to remain at their jobs.
Social media is always an ideal platform as a way to build community, highlight the challenges, and even provide a bit of hilarious workday relief, so check out a few influencers you need to add to your follow lists on Instagram and TikTok who are giving voice to Black women in nursing. (And even if you're not in the field, much of their content is relatable to almost anyone.)
This mom of four offers a great mix of humor, beauty, and smarts that is both informative and entertaining. Her platform is a refreshing look at defining career balance as a nurse on your own terms.
This nurse offers funny takes on everyday scenarios nurses face in the workplace, as well as snippets of her life as a wife and mom who takes time out for self-care and enjoyment.
She challenges her tribe to "level up" via advancing education in nursing and offers tips for those pursuing degrees in the field. From encouragement on writing papers and working while in school, you'll definitely find a safe space for getting through that degree program.
@mylifeassugar_ No ma'am/sir, it's time to go!!!! #nursingjokes#nursesugar#nursetoks#nursingfyp♬ original sound - TY FOR 10K!!!
Her name says it all, and she's a Nigerian-American nurse who represents for the culture and the best of the industry. Funny, clever, and informative, her TikTok posts (as well as those on Instagram) are for anyone who might need a quick laugh and release during work, no matter what your industry might be.
She's all about inclusion and diverse reflections of those who work in the nursing industry. On top of that, she represents for those who work in psychiatric and mental healthcare, adding more to the narrative in terms of resources and tips via fun videos.
Career flexibility, negotiating contracts, and getting to the bag are major themes this influencer focuses on via Instagram and her web platform, encouraging women to take back their peace and follow purpose in the healthcare field.
Her mini-vlogs about how it feels to walk in her shoes during a shift are both relatable and refreshing to watch, and she intermixes travel and luxury lifestyle content on her Instagram that's just as engaging.
She's a New York-based nurse whose giving comedy Reel-ness on IG, and we're here for it. From topics related to shift assignments to quips about workplace culture, you'll definitely get the humor fix you need with her page.
This nurse has a tell-it-like-it-is vibe that will remind you of your smart Biology class bestie in college who wouldn't let you give up or drop out, or the workplace bestie who makes the shift that much less stressful and long. Get tips on balancing nursing school obligations with home life as well as real-world insights on salary and education.
A TikTok video of her deep conditioning her hair under her work bonnet went viral, and there's more where that came from in the humor and entertainment department. She also gets serious about dispelling myths about the industry, advocating for Black women in nursing and highlighting the challenges they face.
Can't do a list like this without this influencer. While she doesn't post a lot about the nursing industry, she has a delish platform, That Nurse Can Cook, where she offers Caribbean recipes and meal-making how-tos. The wife and mom of two balances building her ever-expanding culinary business with her commitment to her nursing work.
All of these Black women are just a few of the thousands who serve millions of patients, playing important roles as the true heartbeat of the healthcare system. We salute all nurses this week and beyond!
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Featured image by Getty Images