In our new ‘Nursing Blog of the Month’ feature, every month we will introduce a new blog that we enjoy reading and know you will too.
Our first featured blogger is Shelly Lopez Gray, the registered nurse behind the blog Adventures of a Labor Nurse: the Highs and Lows of Labor and Delivery. She writes about
the secret (good) work of nurses and provides information for women before, during and after their pregnancy as well as resources for nurses for professional growth and development.
Shelly works at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women and at Houston Methodist San Jacinto. She volunteers teaching prenatal classes to women at a pregnancy crisis center and provides breastfeeding information to mothers at a teen clinic. Shelly is dedicated to the health of moms and babies and genuinely believes that every nurse has the potential for greatness.
Tell us a little bit about your background. What lead you into nursing and how long have you been a nurse?
I always thought I wanted to be a nurse. There are so many nurses in my family, including my mom and my sister. When I was 25 I found myself pregnant and very nervous. I wanted to make sure I’d be able to financially support myself and my daughter if anything ever happened to my husband. So I decided to go to nursing school. I graduated in 2009 with my ADN, 2011 with my BSN, and 2015 with my MSN. I’m currently in a DNP program.
What inspired you to start blogging?
I realized very quickly that there’s a gap between our patients and their healthcare providers. I worked at a hospital that served a lot of young mothers, and I wanted to find a way to provide patient education prior to hospital admission. I also wanted to inspire nurses. My first year as a nurse, I went to an AWHONN national convention and realized that nurses are the same everywhere! We’re all experiencing the same emotions, and we’re basically all taking care of the same patient. It was very reassuring to know that I was not alone.
Has anything surprised you about starting a blog?
I never realized it would take off the way it has. It’s been a truly incredible experience, and I’m so very grateful that I’ve been given an opportunity. I just want to do something good with it.
What can our readers expect to find on Adventures of a Labor Nurse?
You can find information geared towards women and their partners on anything pregnancy-related….from breastfeeding to grief support to what to expect during labor and delivery. Nurses can find inspiration and education. I’m constantly adding new stuff.
I actually just started a non-profit organization called NursesWomenBabies. I plan on highlighting the creative talents of nurses and women to help raise money for charities that support the population and profession that I’m so passionate about.
Finally, is there one piece of advice you would give to a labor nurse at the start of their nursing career?
Join your professional organization, get certified, and get involved. We have the ability to impact so many things, we have to collectively raise our voices to make a difference.
Do you have a favorite nursing blog or run a nursing blog yourself? Nominate them or yourself to be featured in the comments below!