EP 12 - Sean Clarke, Executive Vice Dean and Professor


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The nursing and healthcare profession can be invigorating, but it can also be challenging, often leading to burnout. If nurses are working in an environment that is not conducive to bringing their best to the bedside, the patients will not get the best outcomes. On today’s show, we talk to Sean Clarke, the Executive Vice Dean and Professor at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. With over two decades of higher education experience as a professor, research manager, and academic administrator in this field, Sean has a lot of insight into different aspects of the nursing field. He has also done extensive research into the subject of improving the working conditions of nurses. He addresses some of the inherent challenges nurses and healthcare professionals face and shares valuable advice on the importance of self-care, communicating your feelings, and maintaining perspective in order to avoid burnout. Sean emphasizes the importance of good management and provides insight into some of the other paths you can take in nursing beyond the bedside. To hear about how you can stay mentally and physically healthy in this job, stay engaged and invigorated in the valuable work you do, and advance your own career, tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Sean shares how he got into healthcare, from volunteering at hospitals to his current position.
  • Insight into the current nursing shortage and the opportunities available.
  • What his role as Executive Vice Dean and Professor entails.
  • Sean shares some insight into some of the other paths you can take in nursing beyond the bedside.
  • Sean discusses his research into how to improve the working conditions of nurses.
  • Thoughts on preventing burnout and encouraging engagement: The importance of valuing people.
  • The inherent challenges for nurses and healthcare professionals: physical demands, working hours, rest, infection risk, and time pressure.
  • The importance of acknowledging the value of the work, naming the challenges and hazards, and educating staff about self-care.
  • The importance of communication between staff and management: They need to be aware of each others’ realities and they need to feel heard.
  • How the sense of connectedness to patients, coworkers, and the workplace is vital to the well-being of nurses.
  • The importance of maintaining perspective, hope, and a sense of empowerment.
  • The problem of time and the importance of good, passionate leaders and management.
  • How to advance in your career: Education, side projects or organizations, and mentorship.
  • How to continue to learn in your role
  • The best piece of advice Sean’s ever been given: Our lives are a combination of so many things, work is just one part of it.
  • What Sean believes the future of nursing will look like: Technology and information more seamlessly blended into the nursing profession.
  • Always remain open to the possibilities you might not have considered.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:


NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing

Connell School of Nursing - Boston College

University of Toronto

University of Pennsylvania

McGill University

Carleton University

University of Ottawa

15 episodes