Think Tank is reaching capacity!

This is one of those situations that brings great joy and great sadness at the same time!  We are almost to our capacity of 50 nurses who are planning, or hoping to participate in the Nursing Activism Think Tank in July, and once we reach that number we will have to start a waiting list.  The great joy is that so many nurses are coming forward to declare that activism in nursing is alive and well – just knowing that this is true is an inspiration!  The great sadness is that our capacity is limited for a face-to-face gathering such as this.

We will continue to encourage people to complete the interest form and will let people know the status of your “place” on the list.  All confirmations will be finalized by May 1st.

We will continue to explore ways to support nursing activism – it may be possible to organize other similar face-to-face gatherings.  In fact we hope by organizing this gathering we inspire others to do the same!  If you are interested in doing something similar in the future, let us know – we will do what we can to support what you envision!  We will also share, on this website, what we learn from the July Think Tank!  So stay tuned!

More important information – Nursing Activism Think Tank!

We  are thrilled and amazed at the response so far to our Nursing Think Tank invitation!  We initially envisioned a “small group” – perhaps a dozen!  But clearly, we were wrong!  So here is an update for everyone who is interested in this project, whether you can participate in person or not!  If you have not yet read through the initial invitation, please do before you read the rest of this post!  Also notice that there is a “Nursing Activism Think Tank” menu on the right sidebar of all NurseManifest pages, with links to everything related to this project!  Here are the latest tidbits, including how you can be involved if you can’t participate, and how to make sure you are all set to participate if you can!

  • We may need to limit the number of participants to about 50; once we reach that number we will develop a waiting list, with preliminary confirmation by May 1, and final confirmation by July 1.  If this is necessary, we will organize the “cut off” on a “first come” basis.
  • The way to get on the “participant list” is to complete the “Interest form.” This is not a “registration” in the traditional sense – it is what we say it is – your declaration of interest in attending and how certain you feel now about being able to be there!  There are several options to indicate how certain you are about being able to actually attend – so even if you have reservations about whether or not you can do this, but you are interested in doing so, send us your interest form as soon as possible.
  • We are inviting people who can to donate to a fund to help nurses who might not be able to participate without some financial assistance – so if you can donate, please do!  Of course we have a form for this, and you can use any major credit card.
  • If you want to participate but money is an issue, there is a place on the interest form to let us know!   We will divide up the donation fund among everyone who needs assistance, and will let everyone know how this is going to work out by May 1.  We are not “judging” financial need or merit – if you tell us you need assistance, you are on the list!
  • Speaking of “sponsorship” – we gratefully acknowledge the University of Amherst College of Nursing – they are generously providing the space for our gathering at no cost!  We will post more information about the exact location closer to the date, but rest assured that the College and the University will be a terrific site, and will do all they can to help us make this event a big success!
  • We will be sending periodic detailed information to everyone who indicates your interest – including information about the other people interested in participating in your region, so that you can arrange car pools or connect for any other reason.  For those arriving at either Hartford-Springfield or Boston Logan airport, we will facilitate transportation to Amherst; there may be a fee involved for this but we will help make this as affordable as possible.
  • Follow this blog to have updates delivered to your email inbox – and also to keep pace with the “Inspiration for Activism” series that we are posting between now and the end of July.  If you have a nurse activist to suggest, please use our form to send us the information we need.
  • Most important – still have questions? Let us know!  Use our contact form for the Nursing Activism Think Tank

Jo Ann Ashley 1939-1980

# 2 “Inspiration for Activism”

  • Leading voice in nursing for 2nd wave feminism
  • Author of landmark book “Hospitals, Paternalism and the Role of the

    Jo Ann Ashley

    Nurse” uncovering the history of gender and class bias in healthcare

  • Advocate for nurses to claim the right to control our own practice, to demand safe working conditions, to practice to the full extent of our education, and to fight for economic justice.

More information:

Jo Ann Ashley papers, 1942-1980. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2018, from

Kagan, P. N. (2006). Jo Ann Ashley 30 years later: legacy for practice. Nursing Science Quarterly, 19(4), 317–327.

Wolf, K. (Ed.). (1997). Jo Ann Ashley: Selected Readings. Jones & Bartlett Learning. Retrieved from

View Video

On September 2, 1976, WNED public television in Buffalo, New York, produced a segment as part of their “Woman” Series titled “New Image for Nurses: Part 1“. This episode featured a conversation with Jo Ann Ashley, Ph. D., June Rothberg, Ph.D.,  and Jean Spero, Ph.D.Dr. Ashley was an Associate Professor of Nursing at Northern Illinois University. She was also on the board of trustees of NCAP (Nurses Coalition for Action in Politics) at the time of the interview. Dr. Rothberg was Dean of the School of Nursing at Adelphi University. She was a co-founder of NCAP and the immediate past president of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Dr. Spero was Dean of the School of Nursing at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She was Chair of the Board of Review of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs of the National League for Nursing.

The video portrays Jo Ann’s fiesty and courageous personality!  She was fearless in speaking the truth. The archive video is available here. 

Nurses who inspire our activism!

Leading up to our July 30-31 Nursing Activism Think Tank, we are planning a series of blog posts featuring nurse activists – historical or contemporary figures, some well-known and others not so well-known, whose record of activism serves as inspiration for all of us going forward.  You can be part of this project, whether you attend the July gathering or not!  Please send us the details using our online form, and we will make sure to post this information as part of this series!

Watch for the first post in the series on Wednesday February 14th!

If you missed the post about the gathering in July, you can always find the link in the “Blog Home” submenu, and in the right sidebar on any page on this site, along with other pages and forms related to this event!

Invitation: Nursing Activism Think Tank!

Interest Form

Event: A NurseManifest Think Tank organized by Peggy Chinn,  Adeline Falk-Rafael, and Sue Hagedorn. Dates: July 30-31, 2018

We are very excited to invite you to participate in a Nursing Activism Think Tank – a gathering of nurses who have a passion for action that brings nursing values to the center, creates change to realize social justice in nursing, healthcare, and the populations we serve, and builds networks of support for activism in nursing at every level.  Our specific goal is very broad – to brainstorm what might be possible, and follow those possibilities wherever they might lead.  

We are concerned that although we have a strong legacy in nursing of significant activism, in today’s environment there is very little support for nurses who feel an urgency to address grassroots problems.  A few examples –

  • Lack of networks of support for those who take risks in the public arena, who might run for public office, who recognize situations where urgent change is needed, and eventually become discouraged and abandon nursing altogether.
  • Lack of educational opportunities that nurture nursing activism, and even devalue activism (such as negative attitudes toward unions, lack of learning activities focused on serving disenfranchised populations)
  • Lack of education and certification avenues to prepare for nursing roles to promote social justice in nursing and healthcare.
  • Still-present oppressive environments in many workplaces where nursing priorities, voices and actions are not valued.

We want to be part of changing these circumstances, and so we are reaching out to other nurses to support one another in making change. We envision a small group, but we do not want to limit participation. We simply ask that all who come are eager, passionate and ready to join others in a cooperative spirit of solidarity to engage with activism in nursing.  If you know someone who shares your ideas and vision who might also want to come along, they are welcome to also participate (each person needs to complete an Interest Form – details below).

We envision a two-day gathering with a very flexible structure – building on each person’s stories that reflect passion, commitment and visions for social activism. We are asking each participant to bring a photograph or object around which to explore your personal story, from which we will build visions for future possibilities. The first day of our gathering will focus on developing our stories – a process that will be facilitated by staff from the Nurstory Project. The stories can be used eventually to develop a digital story, which will be introduced as part of the process. The next whole day will focus on developing our visions as a group. Throughout, we anticipate some time looking back at the work of nurses who have created the legacy of nursing activism – a legacy that can inspire what we envision today.

Here are the details:

Dates: all day, July 30-31, 2018. If you are traveling from a distant location, you will need to arrive late in the afternoon July 29th. The Think Tank gathering will begin at 9 am on Monday morning. Departure can be as early as late afternoon on July 31st, but staying the evening will extend the time for networking and developing ongoing relationships!

Location: University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing The nearby Campus Center has several options for food, meeting rooms and parking; and the hotel is also contained within the Center.  

Lodging:  You can stay at the Hotel UMass, located in the Amherst Campus Center, 1 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA 01003.  Phone: 866-238-4218. For reservations, call or go online:  The rate is $149 per night, plus tax and recovery fees, prepaid.  You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of your booking for a full refund; after the 24 hour advance time, you are charged for 1 night plus tax and fees. There are other hotels and motels in and around Amherst, as well as campgrounds, and B&B locations!  

Cost: There is no registration cost involved. We are exploring possibilities for funding to help support travel and lodging expenses, but you may need to cover all of your own expenses for travel, lodging and meals.  If you can only participate if there is funding, please let us know (the interest form has a place for this!)

Travel and transportation:  If you fly, the closest airport is Hartford/Springfield Bradley (1 hour drive to Campus Center). Boston Logan is also an option (2 hour drive to Campus Center). For those who fly, we will help work out shared transportation to the campus as needed.  If you drive, parking at the campus center is convenient and easy to locate.

What to bring:  Bring a photograph (2 or 3 if you wish) or an object from which to develop your story that conveys your passions and concerns related to activism in nursing. Don’t worry if the story itself is not clear in your mind – that will happen as part of the experience!

It will be summer in Western Massachusetts – but the Campus Center is air conditioned – so plan on layers for inside and casual outdoor summer clothing! There will be no “dress up” occasions!

Need more information?  Just ask!  Use our contact form for the Nursing Activism Think Tank

Seriously Interested?  Fill out our online Interest FormWe will confirm your registration within a few days, and will make sure you receive announcements and further information along the way!