Nhan believes in joy in the workplace—he knows that self-care and caring for colleagues is also part of patient care. He saw that his fellow nurses were struggling with burnout and exhaustion during the pandemic, and he wanted to help. So he made a very deliberate choice to start building celebration and comfort into the environment. As a nurse, evidence is important to Nhan, so when he set out to improve his colleagues’ work lives, he first read the literature on interventions that have been shown to make a difference. A tea break with mindfulness practice has been shown effective, so he instituted a similar program on his unit. He also built community by organizing a birthday bulletin board, one that highlights the special qualities of each colleague. He collected baby photos of colleagues: The game is to guess who it is to win a prize. All of this, from the silly to the serious, is part of creating a different kind of work environment, one that welcomes the full humanity and the gifts of each person. 

This thoughtfulness extends to his patients. When patients are joyful, Nhan is joyful. When they need a shoulder to cry on, he is there for them too. To his core, he is dedicated to serving his community.  

Nhan knows that positivity is not always easy, but it is always a choice, and it is contagious. He is inspired by his mother, who was a labor and delivery nurse in Vietnam. He grew up surrounded by nurses, knowing that he wanted to be a nurse.