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7 Inspiring Talks for Nurses

Do you find it hard to sift through the multitude of forums and blogs for healthcare professionals? Or do you get sucked into a vortex of not-so-inspiring content? It can be hard to find fresh and engaging material to keep ourselves inspired.

We’ve found one place to get inspired: by listening to TED Talks. By now a well-known source featuring presentations from some of the most brilliant minds in the world, TED Talks cover every topic under the sun in an easy-to-understand and inspiring way.

But with so many great talks, how to choose? Well, we’ve compiled six of our favorite TED talks for nurses, plus one RN FM Radio special. These speakers break out of the typical content mold, offering something new that will offer you the opportunity to be better at your job.

Why not watch and listen. You’ll learn, laugh, be inspired—and maybe even cry.

1) A Tribute to Nurses

Nurse gives us a big thumbs up!

Carolyn Jones spent five years interviewing, photographing, and filming nurses across America, traveling to places dealing with some of the nation’s biggest public health issues. She shares personal stories of unwavering dedication in this celebration of the everyday heroes who work at the front lines of healthcare.
Duration: 10 minutes.

2) A Broken Body Isn’t a Broken Person

Cross-country skier Janine Shepherd hoped for an Olympic medal—until she was hit by a truck during a training bike ride. She shares a powerful story about the human potential for recovery. Her message: You are not your body, and giving up old dreams can allow new ones to soar.
Duration: 19 minutes.

3) How to Make Stress Your Friend

Nurse meditating with her fellow workers.

Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken, and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.
Duration: 14 minutes.

New research suggests that stress may only be bad for you

if you believe that to be the case.

4) Take Healthcare off the Mainframe

At TEDMED, Eric Dishman makes a bold argument: The U.S. healthcare system is like computing circa 1959, tethered to big, unwieldy central systems: hospitals, doctors, nursing homes. As our aging population booms, it’s imperative, he says, to create personal, networked, home-based healthcare for all. Although recorded in 2009, this is still a very relevant talk.
Duration: 16 minutes.

5) The Amazing Story of the Man Who Gave Us Modern Pain Relief

For the longest time, doctors basically ignored the most basic and frustrating part of being sick: pain. In this lyrical, informative talk, Latif Nasser tells the extraordinary story of wrestler and doctor John J. Bonica, who persuaded the medical profession to take pain seriously—and transformed the lives of millions. A very relevant talk about dealing with and managing chronic pain.
Duration: 13 minutes.

6) Pirates, Nurses and Other Rebel Designers

In this ode to design renegades, Alice Rawsthorn highlights the work of unlikely heroes, from Blackbeard to Florence Nightingale. Drawing a line from these bold thinkers to some early modern visionaries like Buckminster Fuller, Rawsthorn shows how the greatest designers are often the most rebellious.
Duration: 11 minutes.

7) What Makes a Great Leader?

CEO Ann Johnson

Ann Johnson’s last hospital job was nearly 20 years ago now, as emergency department manager and director of the Drug-Free Workplace Program at a rural hospital in California. Back then, in 1998, she made a shift and became a nursing entrepreneur when cofounding Wild Iris Medical Education, pioneering the field of online continuing education companies for nurses. Proud owner of a certified woman-owned business, Ann’s story may just inspire other nurses to follow her lead in finding new ways to keep their passion for nursing alive. She is interviewed by “Nurse Keith” of RN FM Radio.
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes.

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Wild Iris Medical Education, Inc., is a privately held, woman-owned company providing online healthcare continuing education. In 1998, we began offering online ANCC-accredited nursing continuing education courses and since then have expanded to provide CEUs for occupational therapists, physical therapists, paramedics, EMTs, and other healthcare professionals.

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