Julia Eze, MSN, RN, NP-C is a board certified Nurse Practitioner and Registered Nurse who earned her Bachelor of Applied Science in Nursing from Georgia State University. Following undergraduate studies she honed her clinical skills as a Registered Nurse at Emory University Hospital for more than 5 years in the field of Hematology/Leukemia. Nurse Julia also earned her Masters of Science in Nursing (Family Nurse Practitioner) from Mercer University, and she currently practices in the field of Functional Medicine.
As the Founder of The Nurse Link, a social enterprise that connects current, future and aspiring nurses for mentorship and scholarship- Julia remains heavily connecter to the nursing community. In addition, Julia is the recipient of the prestigious Daisy Award and has been selected by the International Nurse Association as one of the 2017- 2018 Top Worldwide Healthcare Professionals.
Here are takeaways from our conversation:
THE UNLIKELY PATH TO NURSING
Julia didn’t imagine herself as a nurse. She was passionate about economics and envisioned her working in the Stock Market. When she got to college, Julia was reminded of her experiences in her family and was moved to help people. In high school, Julia’s mom put her to work to help care for family members and members in her community with their activities of daily living. Julia recalls working with one quadriplegic woman whose resilience and attitude inspired Julia; she saw difficult tasks as a privilege that she is able to do these tasks for herself and she can help others.
Julia is currently an Atlanta-based family nurse practitioner and is passionate about health promotion and disease prevention. Working in functional medicine, she aims to treat the underlying causes of disease rather than the symptoms. Before her current setting, Julia came from a background with over five years working at the besides in Hematology and Leukemia. Oncology is a passion for this multifaceted nurse and describes being a caregiver in that area as a beautiful thing.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR ENERGY
Julia practices mindfulness, which she describes to be a form of intentionality. I got inspired by Julia’s post in her blog, particularly this quote:
We can harness good energy in our quiet go-to space to refuel ourselves. There is a sense of peace where you can set the tone for your day, week, month, and even your year. This safe place is required for a peaceful mind, especially going out in the world where we’re exposed to so many different energies and unforeseen circumstances outside of our safe place. Julia’s mindfulness, energy, and intention comes from the concept that she can create good energy and is intentional about taking that energy with her on the-go. When something threatens her peace, she’s ready to go. Julia also collects crystals and ‘customizes’ her energies accordingly. For example, if she’s working on her relationships, she’ll have her rose quartz stone with her. Ultimately, Julia reminds us that we are in control of our own destiny.
OPERATE FROM A PLACE OF GRATITUDE
When Julia thinks about all her experiences working with a vulnerable population in Oncology, she reminded herself that she is a servant to them and to do everything in her power to make them feel better and encourage them to see the light in this dark situation. In turn, these experiences provided Julia with high doses of gratitude.
THE NURSE LINK
When Julia finished grad school, she was looking for something different. Her passions about health promotion and disease prevention, as well as her desire to find flexibility, drove her to create The Nurse Julia page. Sharing health content came naturally to her. After working in an underserved area, she found a huge knowledge deficit due to the lack of resources and advocacy, which fueled her mission behind her page. As Julia shared her story, she found that everyone has a story they can share.
She started an organization for nurses to serve as mentors to other nurses to offer guidance, which evolved as The Nurse Link. Julia quickly found that this idea grew to a much bigger concept. She thought about nurses in different scenarios in their career- from a student to a new grad to an experienced nurse, Julia put the pieces together to figure out what the wants and needs were of her audience and worked to craft a unique experience for them.
Attending a Nurse Link event means you’ll be receive inspiration and get the resource you’ll need a nurse. They offer networking opportunities, scholarships, valuable resources, and more. Attendees will receive real life experiences and interactions by getting in front of the things they need to the be successful.
CONNECT WITH YOUR WHY IN ORDER TO SUCCEED
Julia shares how 2018 was a difficult year for her and experienced burnout. What kept her going was keeping her purpose close to her that helped her to keep going. Julia’s why is to be an inspiration. Her motto is: “If I can do it, you can do it too.” People can look at you on social media and have certain ideas of where you come from and who you are as a person. Julia comes from a big family with an immigrant father. Through hard work and perseverance, she attained goals in the face of difficult adversities in her upcoming and despite statistics that were stacked up against her. Finding your purpose will lead you to overcoming circumstances that no one thought you could overcome. As Julia shares: “Finding the beauty in the dismay is my why.”
ALLOW YOURSELF TO COMPLETELY REST
A phrase Julia heard at a conference that helps her to maintain a healthy balance in her life is that you can have everything you want in life, but you can’t have it at the same time. You may accomplish it all in the end, but not all at once. After the last Nurse Link event in 2018, it hit Julia that she didn’t have any event or another deadline to meet all year. When she thought about it, she embraced that time to rest. By December in 2018, she became mentally consumed with things she should be working towards. She resisted that and continued to allow herself to just be, which took time for her to accept.
Julia’s advice? Know yourself and your limits. Allow yourself time to just be. Take the needed rest to rejuvenate and to be invigorated all over again before you get up and go again. Downtime has a purpose.
In terms of developing an interest and going forth with an idea, whether it is a business idea or starting a community, Julia offers advice around that as well. We’re constantly evolving. If you’re facing a roadblock, bring it back in, center yourself, and address your why. The answers are there more often than not waiting for us.