Caring for the Nurse:
A Sanctuary to Promote
Balance of the Mind, Body, and
Carie Cote, RN, BSN, OCN
It is a beautiful and mysterious power that one human
being can have on another through the mere act of
caring…A great truth, the act of caring is the first step in
the power to heal
-Phillip Moffitt
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and
more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity....
It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect
timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
-Melodie Beattie
Happiness cannot be
traveled to, owned,
earned, worn, or
Happiness is the
spiritual experiences
of living every minute
with love, grace,
-Denis Waitley
Lead with Purpose
We experience the essence of care in the moment
When one human being connects to another
- Mary Kolorutis
To work in the world lovingly means that
we are defining what we are for, rather
than reacting to what we are against
-Christina Baldwin
Relationship-Based Care
Journey Towards Self Discovery
Unit Practice Council
• The Unit Practice Council was developed
to implement the Elements and Principles of
Relationship-Based Care (RBC) into
• The Unit Practice Council is comprised of
nurses, nursing assistants and unit
• Work in a collaborative effort with all
members of healthcare team to create a
more caring and healing environment.
Relationship-Based Care
Model the Way
Where You
Learn by Doing &
Inspire a Shared
Go with the
Model the Way
(Koloroutis, 1998)
Our Journey
• 6 East Unit Practice Council
• RBC Element #1: Caring and Healing
Practice Environment
1. What would it take to re-create the
physical environment to achieve a
more caring and healing setting?
2. What do we need to do to support self
care and healthy colleague
relationships on our unit?
Literature Review
• Nurses are challenged to perform more
tasks with fewer resources leading to
decreased job satisfaction and higher turn
over rates (Christmas, 2008).
• Self awareness leads to intentional
caring, caring with thought and purpose
(Koloroutis, 2004).
• Developing a culture of shared
knowledge and values may serve as a
guide to heartfelt caring practices that are
grounded in both theory and evidence
(Watson, 2006).
Professional Impact on
Patient Outcomes
Kinnaird & Dingman (2004) postulated
that caring interactions between the
nursing staff and the patients may
improve mortality rates, decrease length
of stay, reduce the number of adverse
incidents, decrease the number of
complications, increase patient and family
satisfaction with nursing care, and overall
improve adherence to discharge
Development of Our Sanctuary
• Unit Practice Council Members determined
elements of self-care practices to include in
Our Sanctuary
Guided Imagery
Reflective journaling
Reflective Journaling
• “I honor this space and sanctuary-may it be the place of respite we all
need -today and in the future”
• “The little acts of kindness that are performed here every day inspire
me to do better-work harder-love deeper-care always”
• “Thank you for this 5 minutes-I feel refreshed and relaxed!”
• “My hopes and aspirations for this room are that we use it each and
every day to put a little pieces back for the parts we give of
ourselves so selflessly”
•“I feel blessed to have such an amazing space for our caregivers. I am
excited about the possibilities this will bring for us, our energy
and out intentions”
•“I am grateful for this space to come and re-center so that I can be I
intentional and purposeful with my interactions”
•“I am grateful for this room to come and relax and clear my mind. I am
not having a bad day, I just wanted to regroup and make sure it
would stay that way”
An ever open door
Peace within
Dwelling there
Like a living thing
A place to kneel and pray
Where the soul can soar
Like a bird on the wing
Refuge and rest
A quiet happiness
Contentment and love
Beyond compare
A haven in the world of care
~Elizabeth Anderson
Survey Results Thus Far
• 93% (n=17) of our nursing staff have reported that they “Strongly agreed” that
the time they have spent in Our Sanctuary was beneficial to “your ability to care
for your patients with a more intentional, healing presence”.
• 6% of our nursing staff have reported that they “Somewhat” felt the time they
have spent in Our Sanctuary was beneficial to “your ability to care for your
patients with a more intentional, healing presence”.
“Just taking a moment out of the busy day has re-centered myself, renewed
my energy to complete/finish out the day-Thank you”
• “The music had a very calming effect on me”
• “A perfect place-helps to relax, calm, reflect, even if you are having a good
• “Spending a few minutes in this room reminds you of why you do this job- for
all of the challenges we face, it reminds you of all of the good there is”
• “This is a good way to re-group, I feel fortunate to have this room”
• “The recliner is awesome! It is very comfy- It is nice to get away, especially
since there is no place to go on night shift”
What inspires you?
• Christmas, K. (2008). How work environment impacts retention. Nursing
Economics, 26(5), 316-318.
• Kinnaird, L. & Dingman, S. (2004). Outcomes measurements. In M. Koloroutis
(Ed.), Relationship-based care: A model for transforming practice (pp.
215-248). Minneapolis, MN: Creative Healthcare Management.
• Koloroutis, M. (2004). Introduction. In M. Koloroutis (Ed.), Relationship-based
care: a model for transforming practice (pp. 1-22). Minneapolis,
MN:Creative Healthcare Management.
• Swanson, K. (1991). Empirical development of a middle range theory of caring.
NursingResearch, 40(3), 161-166.
• Swanson, K. Five Caring Processes – Interview.
• Watson, Jean. Watson Caring Science Institute International Caita Consortium.
Retrieved from
• Watson, J. (2006). Caring theory as an ethical guide to administrative and
clinical practices. JONA’s Healthcare Law, Ethics, and Regulation, 8(3),
• Watson, J. (2008). Nursing: the philosophy and science of caring. Boulder, Co:
University Press of Colorado.

It is a beautiful and mysterious power that one human being can