My preparation ritual includes Sara Bareilles, tears & tissues

Author(s): Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN

It took about 2 hours for my heart rate to return to normal after my interview with Lisa Ling. When I am preparing to do something high stakes, I listen to Sara Bareilles sing Brave over and over and over again. As I was getting ready to be interviewed live by Lisa Ling, I must have listened to Brave at least 10 times. It helps, the lyrics give me the confidence to find the right words. I always cry as I get ready, sometimes really ugly tears. It is a cleansing, and I also felt a tremendous responsibility to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully about the role of school nurses. As I got ready, listening to Sara Bareilles, shedding some tears, and clearing my head, I thought about you, my colleagues, and friends across the country and all that we have faced over the past 6 months.

Here is the result of my morning ritual, ugly crying, and finally reaching a place of calm where I was able to find the words to move the discussion of this pandemic forward. My segment begins at 32:00 minutes, but the full show is well worth watching.

Here is the video to Brave! It may resonate with you to find your brave too:

Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN is a Nationally Certified School Nurse (NCSN), currently in her 20th year as a New Jersey school nurse in the Camden City School District. She serves on several national boards including The American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine (AFFIRM), a gun violence prevention research non-profit organization and the National Board of Certification for School Nurses (NBCSN). Robin is the Legislative Chair for the New Jersey State School Nurses Association (NJSSNA). She is proud to be a Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Fellow and past Program Mentor.

She has been recognized in her home state of New Jersey and nationally for her community-based initiative called “The Community Café: A Conversation That Matters.” Robin is the honored recipient of multiple awards for her work in school nursing and population health. These awards include 2019 National Association of School Nurses (NASN) President’s Award; 2018 NCSN School Nurse of the Year; 2017 Johnson & Johnson School Nurse of the Year; and the New Jersey Department of Health 2017 Population Health Hero Award. Robin serves as faculty in the School Nurse Certificate Program at Rutgers University-Camden School of Nursing, where she teaches the next generation of school nurses. She was presented the 2018 Rutgers University – Camden Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award for Part-time Faculty.

Robin writes a weekly blog called The Relentless School Nurse. You can also follow her on Twitter at @RobinCogan.

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