Owning and operating your own business can be a lonely job. Training and teaching nurses who will go out and impact thousands of people in their careers is a big responsibility… even with over 70,000 studies to guide your practice. Or maybe it can be overwhelming BECAUSE there’s so much research on cannabis and the endocannabinoid system.
As I prepared to embark on yet another year of educating cannabis nurses, I came to an important conclusion. I needed help. I had already hired an amazing assistant instructor, who tackles the job with skill and aplomb, but it wasn’t enough. After long reflection, I decided that year 4 of CannyNurse® would be the year of collaboration.
I’d been making connections in the field since I started studying cannabis, in the US, the UK, and Europe. It’s been hard to get back to the USA for conferences, so I was surprised when I attended Cannabis Europa in May 2023 and people already knew about The CannyNurse® despite the majority of my students (to date) being based in North America.
For six months, I reflected on my professional network and debated on what was next. There were many false starts and dead-end roads, but I’m nothing if not persistent.
Once I’d sketched out the plan in my mind, I began approaching cannabis nursing leaders and trailblazers: People with high integrity, positive outlooks, and (of course) expertise in plant medicine, teaching, and coaching. I also wanted to work with people I genuinely admire, respect, and enjoy. This is too often an underrated aspect of collaboration, but it’s such a pleasure to work with people you like!
All of this led to an upgraded “Year Two” of CannyNurse® training. I’d previously created the CannyNurse® Tribe as a way for CNCP (CannyNurse® Certificate Program) graduates to quickly get started seeing clients. It was a business-in-a-box type program where graduates licensed materials that would help them get started. They also received additional training materials to continue enriching their professional practice.
But I wanted to give them more.
Most new nurses suffer from imposter syndrome and lack of experience when they start their career. The way this is overcome in the hospital setting is by pairing new grads with seasoned mentors who can help them learn how best to put their skills into practice. These mentors bridge the gap between academic knowledge and real-world skill. I wanted to do that for my graduates, but since CannyNurse® students live in varied locations and work in a wide variety of settings (hospitals, clinics, community, and higher education, to name the most common ones), I needed to find a creative solution.
Enter the CannyNurse® Collaborative.
The CannyNurse® Collaborative includes award-winning mentors and leaders who are well-known and respected in the fields of cannabis nursing, nurse coaching, and holistic healthcare. The CNC will be providing mentorship and coaching to the CannyNurse® Tribe as well as peer reviewing the CannyNurse® Certificate Program on an ongoing basis.
There will be a new webpage with official biographies coming soon, but until then, let me tell you why I chose to work with these amazing women.
Love Hawkins, MSN, APRN, NC-BC, WHNP-BC, CNM is the engine behind the CNCP student experience. She patiently answers hundreds of questions during each cohort and makes sure what the students are learning is sinking in and changing the way they think about the body and health. She’s been an absolute lifesaver for me in this work and I am incredibly grateful for her steady presence, quick mind, and reliability. I wouldn’t want to move forward without her on my team. Not only that, but she’s doubly-qualified in cannabis nursing — having graduated from Cohort 1 of the CNCP and the PCHS Medical Cannabis Certificate Program AT THE SAME TIME. 🤯
Janna Champagne, DMCS, BSN, RN (Ret.) is an award-winning educator with an absolute wealth of clinical cannabis nursing experience. She is detail-oriented and is able to connect the most far-flung dots into a cohesive, evidence-based picture that helps clients heal on a cellular level. She knows the research like the back of her hand and is the clinical expert I go to when I don’t know what to do with a complex case. She’s a living legend in our industry and has experience in formulating cannabis based medicines as well as growing.
Shakira Franklyn, CNM, MPH, MS, NC-BC (also an award-winning cannabis nurse and graduate of CNCP Cohort 1) is like the big sister you’ve always wanted. She is wise, thoughtful and brings a refreshing, heart-centered, and grounding perspective to whatever conversation she joins. An expert in traditional plant medicine, she has travelled the globe teaching and learning. Her chant of “free the plant” from her keynote at Cannabis Nurses Network Conference a few years ago is STILL resounding loudly in the Cannabis Nurses Network. She thinks deeply then finds a way to embody that wisdom.
Kathy Salmonson, RN, BSN, NC-BC also graduated from Cohort 1 of the CNCP, and has spent time since then doing cannabis nurse consulting in a local dispensary in Washington state. She has also been working with psilocybin since 2021. She is knowledgable about high dose journeys as well as microdosing and has trained as a sitter for psilocybin journeys. She’s also working as a sitter for clinical psilocybin research for cancer patients run by a local university. She’s been a nurse coach almost as long as I have and her warmth and laughter brightens any space she’s in.
Are you as excited as I am??? 🥳🥳🥳
Author, activist, international speaker, multi-preneur, mentor, wife, and mom, Ariana Ayu is a Transformational Mystic and a Catalyst for Conscious Change.
She is the creator and lead educator for the CannyNurse™ Certificate Program, a 50-hour CEU program for nurses from LPNs through doctoral degrees, and the first comprehensive cannabis nurse training program designed for working nurses. An ordained priestess, holistic healer, and lifelong student of ancient/ modern wisdom, Ariana’s nursing background includes pediatrics, labor & delivery, nurse education, and Holistic Health/ Integrative Nurse Coaching.
She earned her MSc in Advancing Nursing Practice from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland (UK), and her Cannabis Nursing Certification from Pacific College of Health and Science.
She is passionate about racial justice, social equity, environmental preservation and conservation, and empowered health, wellness, and joy for all. Her practice is governed by the ethical principles of integrity, nonjudgment, empowerment, and respect for her clients’ autonomy.