Inspiration for Activism Part II –
I have been an activist for the autonomy of nursing as a professional discipline. When I was 26, a young faculty member, I led a “sit-in” in the President of the University’s office to protest naming a pharmacy professor as Interim Dean of the School of Nursing. I have a letter of insubordination in my file and I remember several faculty members informing me , “your career is over”! Since that time I’ve published articles that have challenged the status quo in nursing.
Last year after the shootings at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida our students and faculty were in shock and grief. Activism and advocacy are expressions of caring, and as dean I called for a meeting of faculty, staff and students. We decided to form an activist group called Nurses Advocating for Peace and Safety (NAPS). NAPS took action to influence our legislators through letter writing campaigns, marched in the March for our Lives and the March for Families, held active shooter and shelter-in-place training, increased awareness about current gun laws not being enforced, and offered holistic care to those suffering from the trauma of the violence. NAPS is still very active.
On February 27th we are holding a forum, From Tragedy to Transformation: Reflections and Lessons Learned from the MSD Tragedy”. A parent of one of the victims, an activist himself, and a student survivor and her parent will speak with Q&A focused on continuing action.