We are in the thick of fall and everyone knows that guys are leading the way with what’s hot on and off the runway! From puffy sweaters, moody reds, and sustainable leather. British Thoughts wanted to try something different, we didn’t want to enlist a runway model, but instead, we opted for a real person with a heart of gold.
Brian Paonessa, AKA “Nurse Brian”, is not only budding health and fitness Influencer but a bonafide hometown hero. When most of us were in-home quarantine. Brian was working double shifts as a registered nurse in Las Vegas. Then in the middle of the Covid-19 Pandemic, he decided to start his nurses initiative called FFN (ffnworld.com) to help nurses get benefits for risking their lives to save all of ours.
“Paonessa hopes that recognition and appreciation for nurses in and out of the workplace would be considered a norm. Especially with FFN incentive programs, such as restaurant and hotel discounts, which would especially help with the overall care, maintenance, and mental health of nurses who are experiencing copious stress and burnouts. “
British Thoughts sat down with Brian to talk about FFN, but we also got to dress him up in the seasons latest styles!
We are impressed with your new company FFN, can you explain what it is?
Thank you! It’s an incentive and benefit program that provides discounts to nurses for all of their hard work and dedication to their careers. Think of it as a “military discount”. All of the members of the military whether it be Army, Marines, Navy, National Guard, Air Force and Reserves are included in a discount program for their service.
Which is well deserved and should be rightly provided to all of them. They sacrifice their lives for all of us to enjoy our freedom and way of living. But unfortunately, the nursing career is NOT even remotely close to having the same Recognition for what they do as the military program. When was the last time you’ve heard anything about a “Nurse discount?”
People ask me all of the time “what about the first responders discount?” My response to them is this ” for some odd reason that program provides discounts to teachers, firemen, Policemen/ women, And EMTs. Most people would agree with me saying “why aren’t the nurses included in this category?” The next time you go to a restaurant, hotel, airfare, buy a home ask them if they have a “nurse discount?”
Nevertheless, when you think about it, you have over 4.2 million nurses in this nation. They are over 30 million nurses worldwide. These numbers do not include LPN’s, CNA’s. There are plenty of nurse organizations that represent nurses which is amazing! Although many of them don’t provide discounts to businesses or attractions.
The issue that strikes me the most is nurses don’t have any flag that we can wave that unites all of us as one. This makes no sense with how important nurses are in this world, as well as the number of nurses there are. That’s where FFN comes in. FFN Has been designed to fill that void that has been desperately needed for a long time now.
Why did you start FFN? Why was it so important?
After being a nurse now for a little over 6 years now, I recognized I needed to take my talents outside the hospital setting. I’ve given so much to the company I work for and my patients that I realized that my true passion lies in becoming a nurse advocate for nurses, not patients anymore.
Through observing the Corporation I work for, on behalf of myself, my fellow co-workers, we dedicate so much time, energy, empathy, care and love for our patients and employer that most of the time is underappreciated. The need for an incentive and benefit program is overdue. It would be greatly appreciated and we’ll receive to have the spotlight put on the nursing career for once.
We know FFN stands for fit and functional nurses. How important is it to stay fit for the job? What do you do in your own life to stay in shape?
Every day that I continue on building my character, and maturity, I have humbly discovered that there is much more to being “Fit” than just the physical.
The balance between the physical, mental, and spiritual components of health is crucial when it comes to coming back to work as a better nurse.
Over the years I have compensated in the area of the physical component and it has taught me a lot. I’ve struggled over the years with this challenge. It has made me take a step back and reshape my life. It’s amazing when you concentrate on taking time out for yourself, as well as build a stronger relationship with God what a difference it makes.You become a better nurse/ person. My passion for FFN has created a mindset for me to become an advocate for nurses and give back to the nursing community as much as possible!
Part of your initiative is utilizing discounts at stores and restaurants so the front line workers can have benefits in their free time. What do you do to unwind?
God blessed me with a beautiful niece! She is my world. I never thought in a million years that a baby would have such a tremendous impact on me as a man. She and I just click, it’s such a special time when we are together. I walk through the door and she runs to her uncle Brian! I can’t describe that feeling.
It just melts me! I love her so much! I’m a big motorcycle enthusiast. I have an Indian chieftain dark horse. Riding is such an adrenaline rush. Wind therapy is what I like to call it. Being in Las Vegas, NV is an amazing place to ride. I love riding around Red Rock Canyon, downtown, as well as the strip at night. It’s the best with all of the lights from the hotels and the attractions. I’m proud to call Vegas my home!
Part of being a nurse is to wear scrubs all day. What is your personal style when you aren’t working
“I just want to be comfortable, but I gotta admit, I’m a big Daniel Craig fan. James Bond all the way baby!”
What are some of your goals for FFN?
There’s so much potential for nurses especially now since the pandemic that FFN will continue to highlight in the public’s view.
Also, I would love to be a mentor for kids in high schools and in colleges. I want to introduce kids to the nursing field/ career. Be that voice of reason for them at a young age. To help them understand that there’s so much potential for opportunity and growth in the medical field.
There are millions of nurses in the world, what do you want to say to them on a global scale?
That nurses deserve to be recognized for what they do being in such a unique profession. The time is now for nurses to take a stand. Raise awareness that the career is NOT to be taken for granted anymore. The old saying ” I’m just a nurse.” Is over. It’s time to be proud of our career, and it’s time to be acknowledged/ rewarded for it!