Nurses Week Spotlight: Rebecca Love

Rebecca Love, RN, MSN, FIEL is the Chief Clinical Officer for IntelyCare, President Emeritus for SONSIEL, and Co-Founder/Co-Chair for the Commission of Nurse Reimbursement. Amongst many of her vast leadership roles and impressive accomplishments, Rebecca presently acts as an Advisory Board Member for Gales® and was one of the first instrumental voices in our company’s origin. Raquél Pérez, Gales® Chief Nursing Officer, sat down with Rebecca to discuss her background and the importance of finding your voice. We are proud to honor Rebecca’s story during National Nurses Week as a leader, nurse mentor, and friend.

You’ve had such an impressive career as a nurse—what did the beginning journey look like for you?

I graduated school in 2008 from an accelerated nursing program as a second career choice. I then went on from being a Registered Nurse to a Nurse Practitioner in the course of four years and the journey since then has been incredibly rewarding and challenging. People often ask me how I got to where I am today as a nurse, and I think it simply is the belief that if you follow your passion and try to live to change the world for the better every day––without compromising yourself or your vision of that––life will work in your favor. That doesn’t mean it will be easy; there have been days that I’m constantly uncomfortable and constantly taking risks, but I realize sometimes taking a leap of faith will only take me higher. 

I want to talk a little about your connection to Gales® because you’ve been an important part of our journey. Can you give insight into your relationship with us?

The first time I met Rob Gregg, [founder and CEO of Gales®] I’ll never forget, was during a fundraising campaign to move PPE around the country during the pandemic. Rob and I connected and he asked me, “if there was a problem I could additionally solve for you, what would it be?” I told Rob that if he could develop a pair of shoes that could be dunked in a bucket of bleach, that would be really helpful. The truth is, I remember coming home at the time with shoes that I would wrap in plastic bags because I knew that the shoes were constantly filthy and I had young babies at home. Rob came back to me three weeks later and he had a design for a bleachable pair of shoes and I was like, “oh, who are you?!” He literally heard me. That's why I love Gales so much––they came in and assisted during the greatest time of crisis in healthcare.

One of the many impressive accomplishments you’ve achieved is speaking at TED. Can you tell me about your experience?

I was very fortunate that a colleague of mine at Northeastern had heard me talking about nurses and was sitting on the advisory board for TEDxBeaconStreet (which has since become TEDxBoston). I didn't know it was one of the top 10 TED platforms in the United States––or in the world, actually. TED stopped hosting national conferences and outsourced TEDx talks to local communities but would take the best talks and put them up on the TED stage. After my colleague heard me speak, he wanted to introduce me to the organizer. I had one quick, pre-recorded snippet to show as an example of me speaking and they said, “OK, you're gonna be in our TED lineup!”

I don't know if you've ever experienced it, but I suffer from imposter syndrome. I remember about a week before the event, finally working up the courage to look at the lineup of the other speakers and just about had a heart attack! They had the gentleman from MIT who had made the micro engine and the first lady of Iceland speaking and I was like, “... oh yeah, I can't do this.” I was expressing this to my daughter, who was around 11 at the time, and she said, “Mommy, let me hear your speech” so I recited it to my daughter every night a week before I had to get onstage and she said, “Mommy, I love it.”

That TED talk changed my life because it was the first platform where I felt like my message was heard by non-nurses and it resonated. As a whole, we don't do very well with translating what actually being a nurse entails. But some of that message resonated well with decision-makers who started to embrace the idea that we have been ignoring perhaps the greatest generation in healthcare for far too long. I think it's amplified the impact of the work that not only I do as a nurse, but (I hope) the work that every nurse does. In the decades of TED talks being done, nobody had ever amplified a nurse on the main stage before me and that was probably one of the greatest defining moments of my life and career. It was redefining. 

Watch now: How Nurses Can Help Drive Healthcare Innovation 

What call to action would you like to leave our nurse audience with, whether they are new or seasoned in the profession? 

We don't have a strong enough voice as a profession. We let everybody else speak for us. If I can tell any nurses who are reading this profile any piece of advice, it’s this: now is the time to find your nursing voice. The more nurses that are seen amplifying each other, finding success in non-traditional spaces, starting their own businesses, occupying C-Suite level titles, or simply just speaking up, the more success our profession will have.