A Conversation with Ibram X. Kendi

For this week’s reflection on our “Overdue Reckoning on Racism in Nursing,” watch this conversation between Jemele Hill (staff writer at The Atlantic) and Ibram X. Kendi about his book “How to Be an Antiracist.” This conversation was recorded at the 2019 Aspen Ideas Festival, and touches on so many fundamental ideas that are at the heart of what we are doing in our “overdue reckoning.” At the close of this conversation, Dr. Kendi speaks to the importance of caring for ourselves as we engage in anti-racism activism!


The Power of Ten!

Sigma Theta Tau has now published the 2nd Edition of the book “The Power of Ten,” a book of essays by nursing leaders that address ten top issues for nurses to rally around for the next few years.  These issues were identified prior to the results of the 2016 election, and now they are issues of increasing importance!  The essays provide ideas and inspiration for actions to strengthen nursing’s focus and activism.  The issues are:

  1. Educational Reform
  2. Academic Progression
  3. Diversity
  4. Interprofessional collaboration
  5. Systems thinking
  6. Voice of Nursing
  7. Global Stewardship
  8. Practice authority
  9. Delivery of care
  10. Professional handoff

This is an important resource for all nurses who are determined to act on the fundamental values of nursing.  The essays are a follow-up to the 2012 “Future of Nursing” report; the issues dovetail with the four recommendations of the report, and sine a light on the actions that nurses can take now to bring a culture of health to the center in shaping the future of nursing and healthcare.  The essays are short and to the point, and there are inspirational quotes from nursing leaders throughout that point the way forward.

Check it out! The book is available in several different formats directly from Sigma Theta Tau or from Amazon.  All proceeds from the book are being donated in equal parts to the American Red Cross nursing programs and the American Nurses Foundation.

Book of the Year Award – twice!

On September 14, 2014, I posted news of the newly published book “Philosophies and Practices of Emancipatory Nursing: Social Justice as Praxis,”  noting its relevance for all NurseManifesters!  The book is edited by Paula Kagan, Marlaine Smith, and Peggy Chinn, and contains 22 original chapters by some of the leading nurse scholars in the area of Emancipatory textcritical inquiry.  The book has gained some attention, but in January, it was awarded two AJN “Book of the Year” awards – in the categories of History and Public Policy, and in Professional Issues.  You can see the press release about all of the awards here.  The link to. the article online is here.  The detailed comments of the reviewers are posted on the web as supplementary digital content; you can access this information online as a subscriber, or through your library.  The book is available in both paper and electronic formats – here is the Amazon link!

We are thrilled with these awards, not just because we know how important this book it, but because it is amazing for a book of this type to gain this kind of recognition in a “field” that typically focuses on very pragmatic and even “technical” topics.  Both of the reviewers who selected the book in their category commented on how accessible the content of the book is, even though much of the focus is on complex philosophic ideas.  If you have not yet had a chance to see the book, consider asking your library for a copy, and take some time to browse, and read!  Share your comments here about the details you see as particularly important for manifesting nursing!

How to Nurse

Are you looking for the perfect gift for a nurse on your holiday list?  Or, are you looking for a book that is entirely consistent with the vision of the NurseManifest values and ideals?  Are you still struggling to clearly answer the nagging question: what is nursing? Or do you just need inspiration? Cover How to nurse Look no further this book is the perfect choice – How to Nurse: Relational Inquiry with Individuals and Families in Shifting Contexts.  I reviewed this book for this blog back in January, but I continue to be inspired and encouraged by this book and decided that now is a perfect time to once again bring this book to the attention of NurseManifestors!  Right at the outset, the authors Gwenneth Hartwick Doane and Colleen Varcoe explain what they mean by the term “relational,” and in so doing reveal the close connection with NurseManifest values:

When we use the word “relational” and speak of a relational inquiry approach to nursing practice, many people think we are merely emphasizing the touchy-feely, emotional side of nursing and particularly “nurse–patient” relationships. However, relational inquiry is far more encompassing than that. Although relationships between people are certainly part of relational inquiry, in this book, the term “relational” refers to the complex interplay of human life, the world, and nursing practice. Specifically, relational inquiry involves highly reasoned, skilled action. Relational inquiry  requires (a) a thorough and sound knowledge base; (b) sophisticated inquiry and observational and analytical skills; (c) strong clinical skills including clinical judgment, decision-making skills, and clinical competencies; and knowledge and skills. Rather, a relational consciousness highlights the interplay of a number of factors affecting the point-of-care . . . . This heightened awareness enables more informed decisions and more effective action.

Overall, a relational consciousness

• Sensitizes us to the relational complexities that affect what happens at the point-of-care
• Directs attention toward the “relational transactions” that are occurring within and among people and contexts
• Enables us to be very intentional and consciously choose how to act in response to these complexities and transactions

Specifically, relational consciousness is the action of being mindfully
aware of the relational complexities that are at play in a situation and
intentionally and skillfully working in response to those relational complexities.

(Doane, Gweneth Hartrick; Varcoe, Colleen (2013-12-30). How to Nurse (Page 3-5). LWW. Kindle Edition.)

I cannot recommend this book highly enough!  In addition to this kind of explanation of the principles on which nursing is based, the book is loaded with examples and real-life activities that emphasize what this means in very practical terms.

Let’s start a lively discussion here about the insights that this book offers, and add more insights related to the connections between the perspectives this book offers and our own NurseManifest vision!



A Nursing Textbook Worthy of NurseManifest Endorsement

Several months ago I had the honor of writing the Foreword to a new nursing textbook by Gweneth Hartrick Doane and Colleen Varcoe titled “How to Nurse: Relational Inquiry with Individuals and Families in Changing Health and Health Care Context.” In their Preface, they state the goal of the text very clearly – one that reflects elegantly the ideals of the Cover How to nurseNurseManifest vision:

“Our goal is to help readers engage in a thoughtful process of inquiry to more intentionally and consciously develop their knowledge and nursing practice, develop their confidence and ability to act in alignment with their nursing values, and to navigate the complexities of contemporary health care settings as they care for patients and families.” (p. x)

There are particular features of the book that are notable from “NurseManifest” perspective.  One is that the book accomplishes something typically missing in textbooks – it fully engages the reader as a participant.  In essence, the book “models” the title — it is relational.  Throughout the book there are features that engage the reader in the content, for example encouraging the reader to “try it out” and providing guidelines for “this week in pracice.” The “Relational Inquiry Toolbox” features at the end of most of the chapters provide guidance for the reader in focusing on using the tools presented in the chapter in practice.  For example, at the end of Chapter 2 – one of the tools is to “Enlist a critical feminist filter to see how gender dynamics are intersecting with other forms of oppression and affecting health and health care.”

In short, this is a marvelous book.  Get your copy today .. even as a person who is not enrolled as a nursing student, I guarantee you will learn a lot and see vast possibilities for nursing that will amaze you!