Laughter will take center stage during the closing session of Emergency Nursing 2023. Acclaimed comedians and keynote speakers Liz Glazer and Nancy Norton will bring a comedy club atmosphere to the conclusion of this year’s conference with their hilarious observations and insights, including the unique challenges of working in health care.
The closing session is scheduled for 5:15-6:30 p.m. Pacific time on Sept. 23 in the San Diego Convention Center.
“I don’t think I’ll ever feel this safe delivering a keynote again,” Glazer quipped. “If I collapse on stage, there are literally thousands of people in the room who can save me.”
Before she became a stand-up comedian, Glazer was a tenured law professor at Hofstra University. “You know, that classic path to comedy,” she joked.
Growing up, she never pictured herself as a stand-up comedian. However, as Glazer got older and developed a professional interest in comedy, she realized that, in a way, she was already performing for her students and friends without realizing it.
“One day, a colleague and senior faculty member came to me and said, ‘Liz, what are you doing in there? Your lecture sounded like a comedy club,’” she recalled. “I was horrified at the time because I was scared they weren’t going to take me seriously, but now I look back and think, ‘Why wasn’t I recording those lectures?’”
Glazer is a recent first-place winner of the Boston Comedy Festival and Ladies of Laughter Competitions. She has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Jewish Standard, among other publications.
Her debut comedy album, “A Very Particular Experience,” about grief, stillbirth and inherited trauma, was No. 1 on the iTunes comedy charts for six days straight. While she doesn’t shy away from vulnerable, personal topics in her sets, Glazer clarified that she plans to keep things light during the Closing Session at Emergency Nursing 2023.
“I’m excited to interact with the crowd because I have such utter respect for nurses,” she said. “As someone who has had many jobs, I think nursing is one of the only professions where you actually have to do anything important.”
To follow and learn more about Glazer, Emergency Nursing attendees can visit her website.
Glazer will be joined by the award-winning comedian Norton, a nursing peer who can identify with the unexpectedly humorous situations health care providers often encounter. Her performances are hilarious, high energy and an interactive blast.
Norton knew she wanted to be a comedian from an early age. Her report cards often attested that she seemed more interested in entertaining her classmates than her homework.
“They say look at what you liked to do in kindergarten, and that is probably your life purpose,” Norton said. “My calling was to be an entertainer but also a healer.”
While she found great fulfillment in her nursing career, Norton credits the insights shared by her hospice patients for the epiphany that comedy was her true calling. Norton took their advice to heart, stating, “Dying people do not waste their breath.”
She recharges nurses, health care workers and first responders with inside jokes that demonstrate how the power of humor is not only fun but essential for nurses’ well-being to help express painful experiences and bond with co-workers.
“I really want to emphasize how important nurses are and keep them at their jobs because we need them. I have a highly active, adventurous teenage son whose auto-predict on his phone literally finishes the sentence: ‘I am…’ with the phrase ‘… in the ER.’ So, I especially need them,” Norton joked.
She studies therapeutic humor to find methods that heal or relieve stress through laughter. Norton explained that the high-intensity nature of nursing often causes nurses’ bodies to have high levels of toxic stress hormones. Laughter is a healthy, natural way to lower cortisol and epinephrine while raising endorphins, serotonin and NK cells.
“I want to be a healer for the healers,” Norton said. “They need this laughter. I think it’s truly a basic human need.”
She has received awards at the Boston Comedy Festival, Burbank Comedy Festival and Seattle International Comedy Competition. Norton has also appeared on PBS, Nick at Nite and A&E.
She also recently launched “Tromedy,” a podcast where she interviews trauma survivors and stand-up comedians, including Glazer, to demonstrate “how to take one’s pain and play with it.”
Norton enjoys integrating audience interactions in her sets and would like to hear the stories of Emergency Nursing 2023 attendees who may have running jokes or funny experiences to share about something that helped their teams cope with the stresses on the job. Those who submit their humorous on-the-job experiences through SpeakPipe might see them reflected on stage (with anonymity if preferred and in compliance with HIPAA).
Register Today for Emergency Nursing 2023
Registration for Emergency Nursing 2023 is still open! Level up with ENA and thousands of your emergency nursing peers in sunny San Diego on Sept. 21-23. Attendees can look forward to immersive experiences with hands-on learning opportunities, high-quality sessions, networking events and can’t-miss celebrations sure to propel their careers onward and upward.