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Category Archives: A day in the life of a FN

How Unique Are You?

How unique are you?

So, you want to be a fitness nurse or you call yourself one now.  How unique are you?  Here are 3 questions to ask yourself if you wonder, “Why am I not getting paid for my nursing expertise in fitness?:

1.  How are you different than the personal trainers/ fitness professionals, your competition, when it comes to bringing in clients?

2.  What industry/market are you in? 

3.  Do you find yourself taking other people’s re-hashed diet and exercise information then re-hashing it yourself?
Here are my responses, in my business and my life:

1.  How are you different than personal trainers / fitness professionals, your competition, when it comes to bringing in clients?
    As much as I don’t like to say this, “Exercise is overrated”.  Especially when it comes to the population of people who I want to help.     Even though I personally like to exercise, my clients don’t.  So, I actually take the emphasis off exercise and use it as a way to help with blood sugar regulation, fat-burning hormone production and increased strength and energy.  And this only requires about 15 minutes 2X a week.  Of course, I give them the exercises and the timing and intensity of these exercises. I also believe an overweight person who physically exerts themselves and is physically active daily is better than a normal weight or underweight person who is sedentary.  I know this better than you may think.  This was largely part of my mother’s demise.  Your mind and body needs to know that bone and muscle is needed for survival.  Remember the old adage, “Use it or Lose it”.
However, I try to avoid personal trainer related lingo like, “butt-burning bootcamp, burn 1,000 calories in 1 hour, etc.”, when I talk exercise and in my marketing.  (What happens when your client or you get injured and you have to take away the calorie burn?) I also charge by packages; not by the session or hour. I create independence and empowerment; not dependency and PIA (Pains In Ass) cling-ons. (You know who I mean) I actually have heard personal trainers say, “I can’t tell my clients all my best secrets, I need to pay my rent, you know.”  They want their clients to be ‘dependent’ on them, so they keep coming back.  In my world of fitness nursing, we know that an excellent, professional Fitness Nurse works themselves out of a job.  The return and referrals from giving that client the total package and confidence they need to do to keep their waist size down, forever, on their own, is priceless. Not only do I give my clients my best stuff to move towards a fat-burning state, I use a fitness nursing assessment that a personal trainer wouldn’t touch and am in conjuction with my Nurse Practice Act. I am confident and am functioning as a nurse first and involving other health care professionals (HCP’s) in collaboration, if necessary.  Finally, I do my group coaching over the internet/phone, so I can work from anywhere and can have clients from anywhere.  Is that enough for now?  ‘Cause I can go on and on.  If you are working in a gym/club setting or want to work in a gym or club setting and calling yourself a Fitness Nurse, how do clients easily know the difference between you and the other personal trainers?  How do the other staff members describe you when asked by other customers what you do?  How do you describe them?  Is it the same description? 

2.  What industry/market are you in?
I’m in the healthcare industry/ pre-diabetic market.  Not interested in managing diabetes.  There are professionals who already do that.  Besides diabetics (Type 2) are notoriously non-compliant. I only help people who want to help themselves not to get sicker; not because they have a wedding in 4-5 weeks and she wants to fit into a dress.  If someone wants that, I actually will refer her to a personal trainer and/or a gym or an exercise class or tape.  (As fitness nurses’ we’re not going to be stupid though; we know that people want to slim down quick)  And we help them do that to, when appropriate for motivational purposes.

I target physicians (you only need 1 or 2) and nurse practitioners and even other HCP’s when looking for clients.  Sometimes, I target individulas who meet my ‘ideal client’ criteria.  I turn away people if they don’t meet this criteria.  So I work with only who I know/feel I can actually help, not just anyone who will pay. I DO NOT try to get clients from gyms, clubs, and exercise classes – it’s very crowded there.  To be honest many are finding me, are attracted to me, because they have injured themselves in the past or don’t have the time and/or can’t keep up the grueling “Biggest-Loser” type exercise sessions.  They are looking for some compassion to their barriers to a total picture of health (yet they do admit to liking the vanity part) The fitness industry is well-established as to who they want (people who are already in decent shape, not the 79 million pre-diabetics) and what credentials you need to work, minimally, in their industry…
Most personal trainer certifications, even the “so-called” gold standard ones, are only a full weekend.  Many without a practical and only require fitness experience to take it.  There are lots of them out there…hence, there are lots of personal trainers out there.  As a nurse, you could easily qualify to take any of these certifications.  But remember, when you practice as a nurse, (like calling yourself a fitness nurse) you have more to lose and are held to a higher standard in the eyes of the law than someone who just has a weekend certification or even a college degree in an exercise science.  They don’t have to worry about a license like you (we) do. 
So, if you want to be a personal trainer, I recommend you put your nursing license on hold and go for it in the adult/child/sports training/senior/fitness market.  You must love oversaturation and not being unique.  So I feel that you should stop calling yourself a fitness nurse,  think about it… are you really a personal trainer who takes blood pressures? You can’t just rename yourself and emerge in an established market, with lots of competition, and expect people to respect that name when they don’t know how you are different than them.  You must create a new market or work in one that already exists and understands/sees your potential for greatness in their industry.  Start slowly with just 1 or 2 clients.  Think more holistic (nursing assessment), embrace the client’s physician; don’t alienate them like other fitness professionals do because they don’t want to lose the sale.  Talk “fitness nurse” to those people who “get” the nurse piece.  They will not likely be in the body pump class.  I know that’s a strong opinion, but it is my experience and my blog.

3.  Do you find yourself taking other people’s re-hashed diet and exercise information then re-hashing it yourself?
Hey, it’s o.k.  I’ve done it.  Everybody does it.  Remember in health and fitness there’s “nothing new under the sun”.  I was talking to a newbie, Master’s prepared, Registered Dietitian last week who was describing a very low fat diet she was developing.  I said, “Oh that sounds like Pritikin.”  To my amazement, she never heard of Pritikin.  Too young?  I didn’t mean to deflate her entreprenial idea.  But I did tell her that there is no copyright on “low-fat” diet, so just change some things around, add your own ideas/principles and rewrite a low-fat diet that will resemble who you are, not Nathan Pritikin, MD.  Basically, do more research. And give credit where credit is due.  Even if you think you’ve thought of it first.
Some of you may say, “Well Lori, aren’t you just re-hashing the idea of positioning yourself between the physician and the fitness professsional with your Certified Fitness Nurse™ course?”  Not exactly.  What’s been done before and continues to be done today, is more the place where the client was seeing the physical therapist and they need/want to continue exercising.  Then, the personal trainer would serve this client.  Not very popular.  Hasn’t taken off.  Why?  Many PT’s don’t trust personal trainers.  It’s confusing to physicians and other healthcare professionals to work with personal trainers/gyms.  They (HCP’s) have no idea of what actually the personal trainers/fitness people are going to do with their patients. 
Many personal trainers recommend nutritional advice.  The HCP worries about interactions with their patients meds, how much does this personal trainer at the gym up the street know about, comfortable with pharmacology, physician protocols and long term holistic goals that are client/patient centered… many are just anxious to show off their latest kettle bell workshop certification moves on Aunt Mary.
A physician actually said to me, “I’d much rather send my pre-diabetic patients to you than the gym up the street from my office… I don’t know what the hell they are doing there.  Are my patients even going?  I never hear from anyone until there’s a crisis.  I get calls from patients who actually want me to write prescriptions for them as to why they medically can’t exercise anymore so they can give to the gym so they can get a refund”.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably got shelves of diet, exercise books, periodicals, specialty trade journal and tapes, downloads of 100’s of teleseminars at your disposal.
There is nothing wrong with re-hashing what someone else has just re-hashed themselves.  But don’t just outright copy it.  Read it, study it and learn from it.  How would you do things differently?  Quote the source.  Create your own fitness nursing program.  That’s what I’ve done and it’s called “Certified Fitness Nurse™”  and the program I’m using to model in this course is my personal FN program called, WeightlossPRN.  A 12-week (minimum) waist reduction program for pre-diabetics that I market to physicians and targeted consumers. 
If you want to learn my blueprint, you have to wait until Spring 2012, anticipated time CFN course will be ready or if you need assistance in creating your own fitness nurse identity you can sign up for one of my mentoring classes in November, for a day, actually 90min. – 2 hours or for 3 days and a more intensive mentoring class in January 2012.

Whatever you decide, remember to be unique as you can, to stand out and ask yourself, “What does a being fitness nurse mean to me?” “Who will it allow me to be/to do?” and “How can I be different than everybody else?”

Til next time,
Yours in Fitness & Nursing,
Lori
P.S.  Please leave a comment below…

Great, inspirational interview from one of my mentors!

Hi future Certified Fitness Nurses™,

I just had to post this interview that was sent to me by Dr. John Spencer Ellis, of NESTA and The Spencer Institute.  I am not receiving any money from John by promoting him.  I have been following him for over 10 years.  I have my Food Psychology Coach Certification from the Spencer Institute.  The teacher, who I loved, was Mark David, of the Institute of the Psychology of Eating.  I will post some of his stuff on this blog soon.  But today I am talking about this guy, Thom Zwawa, who JSE is interviewing.  With the foundation NESTA and Spencer Institute certifications and a vision he is on track to make 100 million dollars next year.  Amazing!  What I love is the enthusiasm and passion they have for doing something they love. 

This is my hope with the development of the Certified Fitness Nurse™ course.  That you will continue to use the principles in this course, make money and take it further into what you see this training will do for you and those who you choose to serve.  You don’t have to exactly be me; but be passionate and use my model as a base to help you get going on the road to Certified Fitness Nursing™!

Please enjoy the interview and look for this great product from Thom Zwawa in Walmart!:

Also don’t forget about tomorrow great call with Cheryl Lloyd, about insurance and fitness nursing/certified fitness nursing™.
11am EST and 8am PST, Sat., Sept. 17th, 2011
Phone number:
(201) 793-0051
Access code:
704896#
Also you can listen through your computer here:
http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventID=22518120

For the recording (after the event, of course) go to:
www.CertifiedFitnessNurse.com and please opt-in, if you haven’t already.

Thank you for your interest and continued support,
The advisory board is complete go to:
http://www.certifiedfitnessnurse.com/CFN-Advisory-Committee.html

These dedicated health care professionals can see the vision where there needs to be a qualified, compassionate and knowledgeable HCP professional who the physician/APN can trust.  Not to just refer, but collaborate with their patient’s plan of care of improved health, by improving their pre-diabetes and inflammatory state through tried & true, sustainable waist reduction methods.

I’m looking forward to talking with you on 9/17!

Yours in Fitness & Nursing,
Lori (a.k.a. Minky)

9/11, Insurance questions?

Hello fitness nurses!

I celebrate summer all the way through here at the seasonal Jersey Shore.  I have about 2-3 more weeks of sun and fun left.  I like this time of year here because it’s quiet and I can bring PangPang.

9/11
Yesterday was the 10th anniversay of the 9/11 attacks.  I made a point of watching until my accountant’s husband’s name was read.  He worked for Cantor-Fitzgerald, floors 101-105 at WTC 1, over 650 people of that company died.  She showed such grace in the years that followed.  I remember how many people did not retreive their cars from the marinas, where they took the ferries from Atlantic Highlands into lower Manhattan to go to work, as they usually did.  For me, it was the day my mother was discharged from the hospital after her heart attack days earlier.

Her physician discharged her at 8:30am, little did we know that within an hour, no one else would be discharged or admitted on that day.  Later, I tried to imagine the anguish that those people felt, looking for their loved ones in lower Manhattan.  I said to myself over and over again, “Thank God I have my mother”.  9/11 to me marks the day that I felt blessed when there was anarchy and anguish for others.

My appreciation and amazement of my mother’s survival of a heart event was cut short by only 6 more years.  In 6 years of going to cardiac rehab, the gym MWF for 6 years, religiously following her endocrinologist’s orders, and trying to do the best she could… she died on a treadmill, November 2007, trying to live.  She had “the big one”.

But why?  The more I found out what happened to her the more I started to hate these 3 popular terms, “healthy diet”, “cardio” and “low-fat or fat free”.  So vague and subjective, yet so many people feel they are doing “their right thing”, just trying to live, like my mother but it wasn’t safe.  Like newsman, Tim Russert, my mom and many people like them could have avoided that fate of losing 20 years off their life.  Could a nurse trained in fitness as their specialty help people avoid that same fate by utilizing the tried and true waist reduction techniques used in conjuction with the skills of a professional nurse?

This began my journey into what is now the Certified Fitness Nurse™ course.
I reflected on that at the beach today:

"Time to finish up the CFN modules and check PangPang..."

Contemplation is good sometimes.  PangPang is good most of the time…

Is that PangPang in the bag or on the sand? (Ha!)

I got to work and finished up the CFN course modules and started planning this call on Saturday about insurance questions and Fitness Nursing.  I had to answer these questions myself, hence the switch to Certified Fitness Nurse™ when I give out advice.

I was having fun, making the people fit into my fingers.

Insurance
I wondered if I developed a fitness and waist reduction course, specific to what nurses do in our Nurse Practice Act, then give myself a title, can I be insured?  The answer is yes.

But can I get insurance calling myself a “fitness nurse” and not doing what nurses do in our Nurse Practice Act?  Not so sure.  Probably not as a professional nurse.  But you could get liability insurance as a “fitness professional” with a sports insurance company.  This is what I used to tell nurses who were working in fitness to do.  BECAUSE, you are working as a fitness professional.

We will being having a discussion on insurance and Fitness Nursing with Cheryl Lloyd, RN, this during this Saturday, on the CFN Preview call.
To get the recording go here:
www.CertifiedFitnessNurse.com

The call, “Insurance & Fitness Nursing”, is Saturday, September 17th, 11am EST, 8am PST.
Phone number:  (201) 793-0051
Access code:  704896# 
If you are on my Fitness Nursing mailing list you will receive the call information,
but not the recording.  Recording is sent to CFN lists only. 

I hope I haven’t done all this hard work at the beach for nothing, please call in with your questions or just listen and take notes.  I love to hear your feedback and what’s going on with you.
Yours in Fitness & Nursing,
Lori

Principles of Certified Fitness Nurse™ Course

Hello fellow Fitness Nurses,

First let me say that you can see by my sparingly-entered posts that trying to handle everyone’s individual questions and concerns with fitness nursing is becoming overwhelming.  As much as I enjoy the e-mails and appreciate the support…afterall, I still can’t do it (expand the field of fitness nursing) alone…I am beginning to realize that then again, I can’t do it for you either.  Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Here I am traveling to 2 health fairs promoting my Restorative Fitness Nursing Business:  Do I look professional enough?  I collected a lot of e-mails and made some great contacts!

I have been feeling great since I changed my diet. No more bloat, fogginess, digestive disorders or allergies. Easy weight maintenance too. Best of all, I only exercise 2X a week. Really,the compliments are best of all!

Here’s the deal.  I have decided to standardized what I think would be the best route for the Certified Fitness Nurse™ in the venue of healthcare.  I am not asking for your approval.  If you do not agree with the principles below, that’s o.k.  You can develop your own fitness nurse description.  Over the past few months, I realized that since so many of you have different goals, places where you want to work, certifications that you want to take, that the best I can do is guide you along your path.  Which is what I intend to do with my mentoring classes on www.fitnessnurseonduty.com.  But for those of you who want a “Fitness Nurse in a Box” approach to starting, growing and working as a Certified Fitness Nurse™, I will be offering a Certified Fitness Nurse™ course (Spring 2012, maybe earlier) based on much of the audio below.  It is an interview with Dr. Kurt Harris, MD (Archevore) and “The Healthy Skeptic” on the best way to eat without causing more damage.  They talk a lot about irritable bowel, auto-immune diseases, leaky gut, diabetes, cholesterol, Vitamin D, meditation and much more:

Also if you want to hear a great lecture, from a Professor at Yale on evolutionary medicine, click on Evolutionary Medicine Review link under the blog roll , up and to the right.

The Certified Fitness Nurse™ course will focus on the best way to reverse the number one preventable health problem, metabolic disease and inflammation, as quickly and effectively as possible, which is to reduce your client’s body’s need for insulin.  To do that is to drastically reduce your client’s grain intake. 
The backbone diet and exercise general principles of the Certified Fitness Nurse™ program are:

  1. Psychosocial assessment/Building stress resistance/ Financial availability / Empowerment
  2. Drastic reduction in grains.  Wild rice and corn are allowed with certain individuals.  Limited tubers (sweet potatoes).  This way of eating is gluten-free and then some.
  3. Pastured eggs (if available), fermented dairy (full fat yogurt, sour cream, cottage, raw cheese, hard cheeses), oh, heavy cream and cod liver oil.
  4. Grass-fed/finished beef, lamb and other organ meats (limit factory-farm meats, income and availability considered), bacon, chicken, turkey, wild salmon and other fishes, nut butters, limited beans (like coffee, no refried!).
  5. All vegetable and fruits.  (Most carbohydrates come from here and the fermented dairy).  Not Atkins because you can have as many vegetables as carbs as you want.
  6. Cook only with butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil (low heat).  No vegetable oils (No processed soy, corn, canola, peanut, etc., these are oxidized PUFA’s, listen to recording for PUFA explanation and how they increase omega 6 inflammation)
  7. Use sweeteners rarely – raw honey (small amounts), xylitol and stevia.  No HFCS or artificial sweeteners like aspartame (most diet drinks), sucralose or nutrasweet.
  8. Exercise hard for twice a week.  (But briefly)  This is where you use your exercise modality for your tribe.
  9. Walk  daily (or as close to daily) for long distances; think about your walking in minutes rather than miles.
  10. Only eat 3-4 times a day (Eating 6 mini-meals a day is a diabetes starter kit, especially if you eat a lot of grains).
  11. Medication checklist (including supplements).  Can be included in FNA.
  12. Fitness Nursing Assessment (FNA) utilizing the nursing process.
  13. Increasing sleep and water (as necessary).
  14. Best lab tests to be ordered by physicians.
  15. Marketing to physicians and other healthcare professionals/legal issues/locations/length of programs/what & how to charge.
  16. Identifying your tribe and attracting them to you and your FN services.

(I am currently putting together an advisory board consisting of  3 RN’s, a registered dietitian with a holistic health background, a personal trainer with 40+ years experience, a physical therapist, a Pharm.D., and 2 physicians for this course.)

The goal of this program is to reduce your client’s need for insulin and to reduce inflammation.  This way of eating and exercising has been proven to be the best, safest and easiest way to get your client’s system to start to heal itself, naturally lose weight and maintain the weight loss effortlessly, lower all critical health tests.  It is close to a Paleo-Inspired way of eating.  But beans and legumes, corn and wild rice, fermented dairy and xylitol/stevia were not Paleo foods.
If you listen to the audio and like what you hear stay tuned, because this Certified Fitness Nurse™ program will be for you.  If you are not in agreement with the principles of the program (ie: vegan, long chronic cardio), then you can by all means develop your own program based on your research.  This program best serves the most chronically, not-feeling-so-great people, who as nurses, we can help the most.  Please don’t write me with your arguments, I will NOT change my view.  After over 25 years in fitness & nursing, I feel that I have tried and heard it all, I have a little  big chip on my shoulder, in other words…  I know best 😉  I do, however, respect your opinion, even if you profoundly disagree, you can write about it in detail on your own blog, then send me an e-mail and invite me to read it.  There, I’ve said it. 
Now let’s move on to what else you will need in the upcoming months to qualify for the course. 

You will need to be a licensed RN or LPN, have a current fitness certification (any) and/or college degree in an exercise science (this may change),
current CPR, proof of your intention of working as a fitness nurse:  business card, title you have given yourself as a fitness nurse, website, blog, facebook page, or even letterhead.

Keep in mind that you can work as a fitness nurse now!  If you want to get some help in how to do so NOW go to http://www.certifiedfitnessnurse.com/ for the next FREE Preview call is.  It’s like a Q & A on Certified Fitness Nursing, Fitness Nursing and developing your plan for fitness nursing success.
I hope this news excites most of you nurses who are fitness enthusiasts and are eager to explore where I have been for the past few years, working as a bonafide Fitness Nurse, within the healthcare realm, soon to be Certified Fitness Nurse™!

Yours in Fitness & Nursing,
Lori

Certified Fitness Nurse™ Model

Posted on

Hi fellow fitness nurses,

WOW!  What a past 10 days I had! 

My Fitness Nursing wellness program at Physician’s office

Everybody showed up.  That’s 90 percent of my angst… relieved.  All 10 people showed up for the 8-week program.  Because I did introduction sessions and a lot of follow-up, the participants were also very excited about signing up.  The physician also did a great job in recommending my services to these patients of his.  Using his office was also a great place locally, for everyone to get to, 2 of the participants are in walking distance of the doctor’s office. 

"You have to be healthy to lose weight (permanently); NOT lose weight to be healthy" ~Dr. Diana Schwarzbein, MD (My mantra for the Certified Fitness Nurse™)

Once a week doesn’t seem to be enough support for many of my participants.  So this Wednesday I will ask them to vote on an evening, Sunday or Monday, that we will have a conference call and possibly computer presentation on those nights.  These teleconference calls will be in addition to the Wednesday evening meetings.  I will recap that past week’s session, in case someone had to miss, and I will listen to challenges and offer suggestions for the upcoming week.  There was one woman who wants to work with me privately.  I charge a lot of money to work privately with someone.  It’s just so much more cost effective and fun to work with a group…to me anyway.  But you can make your own decision how you want to work with your clients.  In a group, I make $200.00 or more in an hour, and I just duplicate the packages/systems.  In a private setting, one-on-one, you may charge $75-$100.00 and you will earn every penny and you may also accrue some frustration with a (PIA) client, who can be quite demanding.  I like the one to many model and charging by the package; NOT the hour.  It’s best to set your business up so that your time (privately) is premium.  I hope this is sounding appealing to you.  Because…

Announcing The Certified Fitness Nurse Academy’s Nursing’s™ Certified Fitness Nurse™ Course Model:

Yes, the above attempts to find a viable venue for nurses who are interested in healing people under a physician’s care, through a special eating plan and proper exercise is being developed.  Those of you who wish to call yourselves fitness nurses and work in gyms and clubs, please continue to promote yourself as a ‘fitness nurse’ and continue to do your great work.  But this course will be for the nurse who is a fitness enthusiast, has a fitness certification and/or exercise science degree and wants to do their great work outside of 6 days a week of cardio craze and bootcamps and low-fat, no fat diets.  This certification will prepare you, the soon-to be certified fitness nurse, to offer your services to other healthcare professionals and healthcare organizations as a means to help sick people (like your neighbors) heal through documented ways that best reduce inflammation, reduce belly fat, decrease heart disease and diabetes the quickest, safest way possible.  And these ‘sick people’ are your neighbors, family members and co-workers.  Just because they are ‘not hospitalized’… doesn’t mean they are not sick or well on their way.  Remember there are over 70 million pre-diabetics, probably many more undiagnosed.  This is a form of prevention isn’t it?  If we can stop people from getting worse… it’s rewarding to us and appreciated by folks in healthcare who we work with; isn’t that what we do?  Heal first; lose weight second.

This course (Certified Fitness Nurse™) time table is to be offered Spring 2012 and will be offered over the internet.  You will need certain criteria to take this course.  Go to http://www.certifiedfitnessnurse.com/ to see the update.

The Certifed Fitness Nurse Academy will also offer an ebook called, Fitness Nursing 101, by Winter 2012).  It will also be available over the internet.  It will be an introductory course about fitness nursing and how to become a fitness nurse.

Stay Tuned for more class information

Please look for future fitness nursing class information on this blog and in e-mails.  Up to that time in the Spring 2012, Certified Fitness Nurse Academy will still offer classes to mentor those of you who are ready to go now and may need some guidance.  Please don’t forget to call into the free monthly preview calls and get your questions asked.  Thank you for reading and I look forward to all of you becoming great fitness nurses!

Yours in Fitness & Nursing,
Lori

9 clients from a physician sign up

Posted on

Hi fellow fitness nurses,

I ended up with 9 clients who said “yes” to my wellness program that I offer to physician’s practices.  I started out with 31 names from the doc (his patients).  Not surprisingly the people who came to the information sessions are the one who signed up for the wellness program.  Meaning that I called every person (all 31) and I could feel through the phone that many of them just wanted to appease the physician and tell him that they were interested, when really they weren’t.  You can’t force fitness on people, even offering it as a healing method, as I do.  Also, just because the physician thinks someone is great for my program…doesn’t mean I do.  My program involves carb reduction and intermittent fasting, not necessarily great for all diabetics or really stressed out people, emotionally not ready. 
The program starts on May 11, so let’s see who shows up.  I have to e-mail and call them to keep reminding them.  The doctor’s office doesn’t do this, it’s my responsibility.  Signing up is not the same as showing up…

   

The program is something I want to offer to other healthcare professionals who have their own practice and are looking to offer wellness as a option to their clients too.  I am thinking about using this wellness program as a model for other fitness nurses who ‘buy’ into my philosophy that nurses who want to compliment their nursing skills with a fitness specialty, will work with other healthcare professionals and within healthcare, not a gym or club.  Entrepeneurs (people who have their own practices, physician’s, APN’s, LCSW’s, registered dietitian’s, chiropractor’s, dentists, plastic surgeon’s, nutritionists, coaches, etc.) are more apt to invest in providing more value to their services than the general public.  In other words, it will be easier to sell (make money) to the above, than to the public.  Anyone interested in learning about this model?

I’ll keep you updated after the program starts next week.  9 signed up; let’s see how many show up.

Please go to http://www.fitnessnurseonduty.com/ and opt in to get the recording on “Nurses who want to work in fitness profession” I talk more about this philosophy. 
Yours in Fitness & Nursing,
Lori

Nurses already working in fitness

Hi Fitness Nurses,

I just received an e-mail from a fitness nurse who owns her own studio.  She totally understands the need to call herself a ‘fitness nurse’ but is concerned about this name change and the perception from her current customers/clients who know her as a personal trainer or group exercise instructor.  Also she is attracting ‘healthy people’ to her studio and not ‘unhealthy’ people  who I suggest you seek out as a fitness nurse.  I know I have been saying for a long time now that you have to call yourself a fitness nurse; but I never suggested that you get rid of current clients and force them to call you fitness nurse. You have to start where you are.  Some nurses want to be a fitnessnurse and have never worked in the fitness profession. (I would still make all the written changes in your marketing and at some point you have to call yourself 
one or the other to avoid confusion)

For less inflammation, we now offer coconut milk; inflammatory, processed soy milk is no longer available.

Changing the menu

If you owned a restaurant and wanted to change the menu; because you want to start moving in another direction, because you want to make more money, work less hours and get to a new section of customers who really would love your food, if you caught their attention… you may lose a few customers during that change.  But the ones who love your service, your atmosphere, the ‘taste’ of your food, would hang in there, no matter what you changed on the menu.  You’re not going from Southern cooking to Italian cooking.  You’re just changing some items on the menu.  For example, instead of doing fitness assessments in the future; do fitness nursing assessments.  Instead of or in addition to a offering large group fitness class to 20 people; offer small group with a specific problem in mind, and yes…charge more.  People will pay more if it’s a solution to their specific problem.  Offer a fitness challenge for members who are at risk for osteoporosis or who has high blood pressure or pre-diabetes.  The outcomes measured are better lab numbers, feeling better; not so much weight loss (but maybe).  That is priceless.  Take a survey on what’s keeping them up at night about their health; what are they worried about?

Not getting fitness nursing clients?

Do NOT give up what is making you money right now.  BUT… if you are at a glass ceiling working as a personal trainer and/or teaching 10-12 group exercise classes a week, (which is what I used to do; group exercise instructors typically look like hell.  No rest.  Body injuries. Grab ‘n go food) and want to become known as a fitness nursing expert, you have to start marketing in a way that targets what is bothering people now, not just weight loss.  (ie, taking medication, trick knee, food cravings, osteoporosis, low HDL/high triglycerides, worried about getting cancer or another disease, etc.)  Remember tell people what their transformation will be when they work with you; not who you are.  This is why I say that fitness nursing may be a challenge in a “traditional gym”, studio or fitness center (where the primary result is image, image, image)  So, what’s next, once they get that image they worked so hard for?  Unsustainability? – Are they really healthier mentally and physically? Or is there more weight gain later, possible injury, neuroses like cardio junkies developing?  So, once you know who you want to help and how you want to help them; you have to ‘qualify’ them.  This does mean saying ‘no’ to people who don’t fit your transformation offer.   If you just take everybody and anybody to pay your bills, these people will take you away from the people who really need to work with you.  I know I’ve been there.  I hated every minute of working with these energy zappers and time wasters.  They are not loyal to you and they expect the most from you and want to pay the least right before bathing suit season (at the Jersey Shore, we have bathing suit season)You’re turning into a rep-counter.  I suspect you nurses, who are working as trainers in a gym now, may be feeling this way.

Remember the “courage” part I mentioned?  You have to be confident too.  If you are not confident in being a fitness nurse, you need to find out why.  I sometimes feel like I am single-handedly trying to find money-making venues for fitness nurses.  I have to educate other nurses, other healthcare professionals and the public.  So do you. 

With this physician who I am working, I’ve had to tell him 7 or 8 times what I’m going to do.  Patience.  I thought of all of you when he just suggested I do another information session, I’ve alreay done 2 and one more this Thursday.  He wants me to do it when I’m already scheduled to begin my group sessions at his office!   
Deep Breathe.  Think about if Ican pull this off… I can easily have 6-8 clients, who I eventually qualify, each month, without massive marketing and sales. 
This is the grunt work and it’s not always easy.  We have to almost make our own jobs.  Maybe in a few years, fitness nursing will be a household name.  For now, we may not get a lot of clients; we may even lose a few PIA’s (Pains In Ass) clients.  However the clients we do get will be clear on who we are and what we offer.  They will be quality clients; our ideal clients, who will pay the money we deserve. 

REMEMBER YOUR NICHE, TARGET MARKET, IDEAL CLIENT MAY (WILL) CHANGE… DON’T WORRY ABOUT LOCKING INTO A NICHE FOR LIFE. JUST GET STARTED FINDING ONE NOW. 

Start Out How You Want To End Up!

My mother always said, “Start out how you want to end up”.  Be confident in your ability and all your skills.  So, don’t get discouraged, make concessions and sell yourself short when promoting yourself as a fitness nurse to physicians and other healthcare professionals and the public.  They haven’t heard of fitness nursing, so you have to be more confident than ever before.  You are better equipped to deal with the problems mentioned above than a personal trainer.   If you try to wear the personal trainer hat and the fitness nursing hat at the same time may confuse the public; the people who visit your club or studio. Remember also that if you are working in a fitness setting as a personal trainer and happen to be a nurse, are the sales people promoting you as a fitness nurse?  Does anybody else who works in the gym/club care or even know what a fitness nurse is?  I’m guessing not.  Do you know what to tell them?  You really need to call in to one of my free calls if you don’t. 
See this is where we are right now.  Going up hill.  But I believe it’s worth the trek.  ‘Cause once we get to the top, the rewards will be grand.  Financially and publicly.  Being clear is what we have to be.  If you need help with clarity of what kind of fitness nurse you can be, be sure to call into the next FREE Fitness Nurse on Duty preview call.  Saturday, April 30, 2011.  Call in information is here:  http://www.fitnessnurseonduty.com/

It’s so much easier just staying a personal trainer or group fitness instructor, isn’t it?  I know there are times, I feel this myself.  But soon, very soon after that fleeting thought I’d quickly remember the lack of respect I used to get from someone who has a weekend certification, tell me how they could be a nurse because they know
how to take blood pressures too.  And then I look at my paycheck and all the total hours I worked… And I say there has to be a better way. 

One day in particular I paid close attention to the middle-aged woman limping over to the ‘next’ machine in the circuit and starts to do too many reps, not enough weight and is favoring one side… she then proceeds to get on the electrical impedence body fat machine and wonders why it’s saying she’s fatter now than before she worked out (dehydration skews the reading making you read fatter).  She does the same thing every time she comes into the gym.  I want to help her.  Emotionally and physically.  But I have to eat something right now or I’m going to pass out… I have 2 group classes to teach in an hour.  Eventually she stops coming because she’s NOT getting any results or not as quickly as they were promised; but she’s hurting herself physically and emotionally.  The next thing she’ll be saying is, “Exercise doesn’t work for me”. 
I really do care and so do you.  These kind of people are all over.  I just think it would be easier to get a few clients referred to you as a fitness nurse from a physician/APN, than marketing the general public, like most personal trainers do.

I’ve written enough now.  Do what you have to, to pay your bills… But I feel that if I am going to struggle; I might as well struggle attempting something I’m passionate about… I have a better chance of making it and making more money with 5 or 6 quality clients I love; than dreading what I do and ‘wishing’ it would change with 30 clients who are running me ragged.  When I add up all my time (not just training time), my tolls, gas and aggrevation… I end up making $10.89 an hour; even though I might have charged $60.00/hour or more.  Now add in 30 clients.  Do you feel me?  Slowly change your menu to what you want to do.  Be precise, give them what they want, make them happy and then get out of there…  be the ‘nurse’ in fitness nurse.  Offer packages instead of hourly rates too.  Your services have to be different from what a personal trainer’s services (menu) may be.  One fitness nurse is doing a great job while in transition. http://www.katylynnfitness.com/ Check out her website.

Yours in Fitness & Nursing,
Lori