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Salon Replication! Great News! September 19, 2008

Posted by mariemanthey in Inspiration, Leadership, Nursing Salons, Professional Practice.
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After several years of steady growth and solid experience, it became clear several months ago that more Salons are needed. There are several reasons why:

  • Many nurses commented that this is the only place they get to talk about really important issues they face.
  • I was notifying people Salons were “standing room only” or was starting “stand-by lists” because my living room walls wouldn’t expand any more.
  • It was becoming so crowded people weren’t getting enough chance to talk

So, we started encouraging others to consider sponsoring, and I wrote up some easy guidelines to help.  I am delighted to tell you that we now have two new monthly Salons, and a third one may be starting up in the near future.   I am ecstatic!

A calendar of Salons is being developed for the U of M School of Nursing, Zeta Chapter website and I hope to see even more proliferate.  My dream is to have a calendar on the website where any nurse can go any time to find a Salon that fits her schedule and is in her neighborhood.  Maybe 8 or 10 a month! Around the metro area, including the suburbs!  We have a ways to go, but this is a start. It feels similar to the start of Primary Nursing in that it feels so right that it must be replicated.  As you read the posted comments, you can see that people are interested in other parts of the country and I will do everything I can to help them be successful.


BTW, I took the summer off  from the blog, but not the Salons. I apologize for not checking it more and sharing our experiences at the Salons we held every month. I will do better at keeping up with the blog.

Last night’s Salon was another powerful experience. There were about 18 people here and the conversation was fairly general: three senior students talked about their “first job jitters” and a couple of middle aged nurses and a soon-to-retired nurse talked about “reinventing” themselves.

Then a relatively new grad told of a recent incident with a patient of hers who fell and sustained an injury. The unit was very busy and the new nurse was not able to get someone in to help her return the patient to bed, despite asking several people — everyone was too busy.   She felt she failed by not being assertive enough and was suffering extreme guilt because she felt totally responsible. That comment opened a floodgate of experiences we had all had when we were involved in a mistake and also very valuable information about root-cause analysis and other error-prevention measures currently in use. The upshot of all of us sharing our “mistake-experiences” was a sense of deep connection.

The new nurse felt the kind of support I had received from my head nurse fifty years ago, when as a new grad, my patient fell out of bed and I felt so guilty I believed I was unworthy to be a nurse. I truly believed I needed to give up nursing!

My head nurse put her arms around me and made me promise to come back to work the next day. She did that for several days.   Last night, all of us, from student to retiree, did just that for the new nurse.

During check-out several people commented how extraordinary the discussion had been and how good they feel being a nurse.

The students had the rare opportunity to again hear the truth about the real world of nursing, something for which they frequently express heartfelt appreciation.

Update (9/29/2011): You can find the Zeta Chapter’s calendar of Salons in Minneapolis metro area here.


1. Susan Smith - September 19, 2008

Marie – it was a delight to hear you speak at Hospice of the Twin Cities yesterday and to witness the passion you feel about the nursing profession and how we can work together to provide excellent care to our patients and each other. Please add me to your salon email list. I look forward to the opportunity to share experiences and discuss the joys and sorrows of being a nurse.

2. mariemanthey - September 30, 2008

You’ve been added, Susan. And you should have received the note that the next one is 10/9 and Michael and Michelle’s and 10/29 at my house. I haven’t had word yet about when the one in St. Paul will start.

3. Paula Forte - October 30, 2008

The St. Paul (or, make that Woodbury) salon offered an inaugural evening on 10/9/08 at the home of Kathy Bell, Dean of the Nursing Program at Century College.

I was privileged to co-facilitate that evening with her. We had approximately 10 people in attendance. I’m beginning to suspect that to host a salon you must be a culinary giant — thanks to Kathy, the meal was magnificent!

Topics ranged from issues of patient safety and our preparedness to care for ever increasing patient loads and care complexity to concerns about the recent language of ratios leading to unwanted side-effects (access bottlenecks for patients, backed-up emergency departments).

The evening was a wonderful launch for this salon. Discussions led to a probable plan for a November salon, taking December “off” and seeing what sort of schedule the New Year might bring.


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