Joyce Morrissette (1962 – )

Inspiration for Activism Part II –

  • Advocate for enabling well-being and creating cultures of health
  • Author of Receive So You May Give: A Self-Care Path for Nurses
  • Psychiatric nurse for 25 years
  • Voice for suicide prevention and de-stigmatizing mental health.
  • Completed the Out of the Darkness Walk in Boston. Have partnered with a dean in Boston to teach emotional well-being to nursing students
  • Advocate for universal sabbaticals in healthcare
  • Completed the Integrative Health and Lifestyle Program for healthcare professionals at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, founded by Dr. Andrew Weil and developed a 12-week resilience workshop for nurses
    -Focused on providing broader and deeper forms of clinician education and resilience training (not clinical or technical) to healthcare professionals so that together we thrive, serve and lead at our highest levels
  • Certified to teach Dr. Lissa Rankin’s Mind Over Medicine workshops. Trained as a Martha Beck life coach
  • Co-organized Thrive: Inspiring Positive Change; a community well-being initiative and creative health symposium in Maine
  • Currently a Community Resilience Facilitator for a 2-year project providing ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) training to the general public and professional groups
  • Visit my website!


Carol Polifroni (1950 – )

Inspiration for Activism Part II –

  • My activism began in college as I was part of the anti-war protests of the late 60’s and early 1970s. 

  • In between the time I was hired for my first nursing position and the time I began employment, we became part of a collective bargaining unit. From this, I learned the value of collective action around a common cause.

  • As was common among baccalaureate graduates in the 70s, I was promoted to management within a year. In that role, I learned what advocacy meant, how to resolve conflict, and how to exercise the power of the nursing voice.

  • In 1985, I became President of the Connecticut Nurses Association and was faced with a public health nightmare…we had no advanced practice statute and the Attorney General was going to stop nurse practitioners from prescribing vaccinations, contraception, and doing childhood physicals. The work began to establish the needed definitions and create the laws to permit the role of the advanced practice nurse. The final language was a compromise, but it was a start.

  • For the past 40 years, my activism has been in response to a need whether it be establishing an accelerated program for non-nurse college graduates, a PhD program for advancement of the discipline and its knowledge, funding for education, or teaching administrators to be business wise and nurse conscious.

More information here


Robin Cogan just sent this update on the amazing work she is doing to reduce school violence and mass shootings.


I wanted to share several outcomes of my participation in the Nursing Activism Think Tank with you! It continues to have a profound impact on my work. This afternoon I am leaving for Boston to present “Why I Became a School Nurse Activist” for the Northeastern University School Nurse Academy. There will be 250 school nurses present, who I am hoping will be moved to consider their own activism/advocacy activities.

I was part of a panel on gun violence prevention for the ACEs Conference in San Francisco on Oct 16th. Here is a link to the blog post I wrote about participating in the conference.

There is a newly formed (physician organized) research group called AFFIRM research. I connected with them on Twitter and have been asked to write a blog post about school violence and mass shootings. It’s called “No More Empty Desks”, and should be published on their website soon.

I began an art inspired form of activism to bring attention to the 26,000 school age children killed by gun violence since 1999. This is the inspiration for #NoMoreEmptyDesks. The #NoMoreEmptyDesk art project is underway with Camden NJ high school students. Here are a few pictures from the project:



Jessica Dillard-Wright, MA, MSN, CNM, RN (1982 – )

Inspiration for Activism Part II –

  • Unapologetic intersectional feminist

    Jessica Dillard-Wright presenting a poster at Graduate Research Day

  • Nurse Activism Think Tank participant
  • Contributor, Radical Nurses Blog
  • Co-author with Vanessa Shields-Hass of the “Manifesto for Nurses Working Together” published on October 22, 2018
  • Organizer, Southern Radical Nurses Collective (see more on, forthcoming)
  • Aspiring nurse philosopher
  • Social and reproductive justice advocate (see more information here)
  • Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health faculty adviser (see more information here)
  • Emancipatory nurse educator
  • Co-organizer of a pop-up nursing think tank in 2019 – follow

    @radicalnursesAUG and @radicalnursesNOLA

Nursing is a radical act, at every turn, in every way. The profession of nursing has unparalleled potential to impact the future of healthcare and our world, which is the motivation for my activism. The right to health is the foundation for a more just and equitable society and work toward this cause begins, for me, with nursing. Nursing is inherently political and we – as nurses, educators, citizens – cannot afford to err on the side of neutrality. This informs my approach to nursing, to nurse education, nurse scholarship, and to nurse activism. In collaboration with other nurse activists (including Vanessa Shields-Haas and Jane Hopkins Walsh), I am hoping to organize and host a pop-up nurse activism think tank in summer 2019. More details to follow.

Activism in action: protest mom and Atticus take the Women’s March