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The Careerwise Nurse with Natalie D’Itri

Mary Buffington: Stop Burnout Before It Engulfs You

Mary Buffington had been a nurse for several years before feeling the effects of burnout. She was working in a chaotic oncology clinic, which was stressful enough, but then didn’t feel supported by her own leaders which added to the toxic environment. She finally chose to leave that job and almost gave up on nursing all together. She decided to take some time and find her self-purpose and self-love. In those years, she returned to school and received her Master’s in Leadership/Management, worked with a Life Coach, and got a new job as a Nurse Navigator.

Because of her experiences, she knew that she didn’t want anyone else to go through that and started her business called The Burnout Ward. She is now the one coaching others to find their self-purpose and self-love. The work that she is doing is incredible. Mary is enamored with Florence Nightingale, the way Florence lived life on her own terms, saw a need for caretaking and went to Crimea, despite that not being “the norm” at that time. She says that nurses are taught that our worth is in giving and caretaking, but we are so much more and can contribute in many meaningful ways, including leadership roles and politics.

About Mary Buffington
Mary Buffington is a registered nurse and certified life coach who works exclusively with nurses. She teaches nurses how to create the careers and lives they want without the burnout. Her company the Burnout Ward has served nurses using her signature program The Unbreakable Nurse Society. She believes the more empowered, resilient nurses there are, the better healthcare will be for all. 

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Links & Notes

  • (00:00) – Welcome to Don’t Eat Your Young
  • (00:25) – Mary Buffington
  • (01:14) – Mary’s Nursing Journey
  • (06:03) – Seeing Nurses Eating Their Young
  • (08:47) – Learning to Work Through It and Lead During Burnout
  • (12:36) – Mary’s Burnout Ward
  • (14:47) – Nurses as Leaders
  • (18:18) – When to Question if You’re Burned Out
  • (19:37) – Labeled
  • (21:23) – Mary’s Steps to Help Her Own Burnout
  • (24:53) – Advice When Burning Out
  • (28:07) – Contacting Mary
  • (29:21) – Wrapping Up

Stories from the Incredible World of Nursing.

Welcome to Don’t Eat Your Young, the podcast that brings you stories from the trenches of the incredible, wonderful, exhausting, terrifying, joyous world of nursing with your host, Beth Quaas.