My Writing Path from Personal Journaling to Textbook Author

How I got started writing as an RN for Nurse Innovator Hub launch. As part of the launch of the nurse innovator hub I am submitting this article about my career path to writing. Nurses Entrepreneurs Article

My Writing Path from Personal Journaling to Textbook Author

AllNurses Innovator Hub #1

My Writing Path from Personal Journaling to Textbook Author (or How I Got Started in Writing as a Nurse)

For me, writing has always been a safe way to reflect on things that interested or challenged me. Sometimes, a process of self-discovery and other times a way to process what is or was going on in my life. I kept a journal for many years and found I enjoyed being playful with language.

As a Registered Nurse, I first tried my hand at publishing in the 90s and was successful with publishing a couple of articles on the Utilization Review process, one of which was for a legal journal. I didn't do much with any professional writing until my decision to build a consulting career that focused on teaching communication and collaboration skills and used an online newsletter to build my reputation and network.

In looking back, I can see how my personal and professional writing began to overlap at that time. I was recently divorced and raising my son and developing my own emotional intelligence and assertiveness skills. It soon became apparent how hard it was to practice new and healthy communication skills in work cultures that did not support them i.e. toxic cultures. I found I had lots of material to write about and great satisfaction in sharing experiences with other nurses. A community was forming and it was/is a joyful feeling to hear feedback from a nurse who might have felt isolated or had self doubts about her (or his) experiences.

This inspired me to write and self-publish my first book, Confident Voices: The Nurses' Guide to Improving Communication & Creating Positive Workplaces". I was very fortunate to work with a nurse editor who joined with me for free because she believed in the work. Bonnie Kerrick, RN, BSN and I are close friends to this day. Not long after, I met a young Nurse Blogger, Brittney Wilson, aka the Nerdy Nurse. We had a wonderful connection and she helped me to switch from a monthly newsletter to my blog, ''Confident Voices in Healthcare" which I continue to publish and write for today. (And I'm always interested in Guest Bloggers who want to share expertise or ideas that in some way make healthcare safer, kinder, fairer, and more rewarding to work in.)

Then in the Spring of 2012, an acquisition's editor from F.A. Davis Publishing Company contacted me to set up a video conference. Honestly, I wasn't sure what we were going to talk about, but it turned out that he was familiar with some of my work and were planning on publishing a communication textbook for nurses. I was invited to submit a proposal! Almost 3 years later, Successful Nurse Communication: Safe Care, Healthy Workplaces, & Rewarding Careers was published!

What's happening for me now in the nurse-writing world is I have many cyber blogger and author friends who write about all sorts of topics interesting to nurses. We share resources, ideas, and contacts and best of all cheer each other on. I also have several invitations to write for exciting publishers like ALLNurses, KevinMD, and F.A.Davis!

If you are interested in writing, I encourage you to go for it. Write about things you are inspired to study and share and keep at it! I believe that nurses have a huge potential to be positive change agents in healthcare and writing is one way of doing so!

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Beth Boynton, RN, MS is the author of “Successful Nurse Communication: Safe Care, Healthy Workplaces & Rewarding Careers”. She’s been teaching healthcare professionals about communication, collaboration, and culture for a decade and is excited about using ‘Medical Improv’ as a fun and powerful way to develop these skills and promote healthy workplaces. Well known for her blog “Confident Voices in Healthcare” Blog and youtube, Interruption Awareness: A Nursing Minute for Patient Safety, she and can be reached at beth@ or

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Specializes in Pediatrics, developmental disabilities.

Hi Beth,

Proud to be one of your blogging friends. You know how much I love your work!

I look forward to many more years of collaboration.

Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

Hi Beth,

That was so interesting reading your story. Looking back, life has a way of working out the way it's supposed to.

Congrats on your textbook, wow! I'm loving this tribe :)