Nurses Declaration of Solidarity and Resistance


The 2017 U.S. Executive Branch is taking steps that will have an effect on the health and well-being of all who reside within the borders of the United States, and of all people worldwide.  At this moment in history, we call upon nurses to stand together, act to resist that which harms health and well-being, protect those who are harmed, and build coalitions that move toward the ideals we seek.  We stand on a long legacy of political activism by nurses that arises from our moral imperative to actively promote public policy to assure social/health equity. Our actions are grounded in the premise that health and well-being depends on healthy environments and  just communities. We pledge to join with others to engage in determined action to protect health and justice for all, regardless of age, social/economic circumstance, religion, skin color, race, sexual orientation or gender identity.

1. We believe that health and well-being of mind, body and spirit is a fundamental human right.

As nurses, we are committed to provide care for all people – care that promotes and supports high level wellness, prevention and treatment of injury and disease, and restoration of health when it is compromised.  

2. We believe the integrity of our environment is integral to human health and well-being.

We oppose all actions that contribute to damage and erosion of the earth’s ecosystem and the physical structures which we inhabit. We will promote, protect, and support actions toward healthy and sustainable structural and natural environments for all the earth’s inhabitants.   

3. We believe that all people deserve access to affordable quality care.

As nurses, we are committed to caring for all patients and families, regardless of economic status, sexual orientation/gender Identities, current immigration status, age, ability to pay, or spiritual/religious beliefs/practices (or lack thereof).

4. We oppose all forms of oppression and discrimination.

We commit to protect and care for those whose safety and well-being is threatened based on gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual identity, physical ability, economic status, or any other attribute seen as “difference.”  We will take public stands opposing any attempt to weaken public policies and programs designed to protect health and well-being of those who are disadvantaged. We will fight for policies and programs that assure equality and justice.

5. We oppose intimidation and violence in our homes and communities.

We will act to protect any who are victims of intimidation and violence, particularly those who are vulnerable because of skin color, race, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion.  As nurses, we nurture peaceful resolution of conflict and support those who step up to intervene peacefully in situations of threat and danger.

6. We believe that the health of women must be protected.

We will act to assure that all women receive the full range of care that assures their right to control their own reproductive choices as well as all women’s healthcare services needed to maintain their own health and the health of their families.

7. We trust scientific knowledge that supports a wholistic approach to nursing care

We examine all sources of evidence to inform the choices we make in caring for those we serve. We can assure the public that we practice from a firm foundation of sound and reliable scientific evidence. We will take all steps needed to inform the public of the science that supports our practices.

We invite all nurses, and our colleagues who support our values, to join us in declaring these  values and actions by signing this declaration. You can add your signature to this document here.  We invite you to use this declaration as you wish, and revise to suit your own purposes.  Let us know of your actions, follow #nursesresist, and join our Facebook group.

Contributing authors:

Carey S. Clark, PhD, RN, AHN-BC
Peggy Chinn, RN, PhD, FAAN
Elizabeth Berrey, PhD, RN
Lisa Sundean, RN, MS, PhD Candidate
Adeline Falk-Rafael, PhD, FAAN
Leslie Nicoll, PhD, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN
Sue Hagedorn, RN, PhD, FAAN

Thank you to the Cambridge Health Alliance for inspiration!

If you would like to co-sign your name to this declaration, please provide your information using this formThe list of co-signatories will be updated as frequently as possible.

SEE THE DECLARATION AND LIST OF SIGNATORIES HERE

Women, healthcare, and access issues


I have been thinking a lot lady about women’s need for healthcare and oppression of women. A lot of this thinking has been spurred on by my facebook account, which lets me know that the new administration is planning on defunding planned parenthood, cutting medicare, and possibly replace the Affordable Care Act with Health Saving’s Accounts (the last one has to be a joke…right? HSA of the average American will not pay for hospitalizations and major medical issues).

The defunding of Planned Parenthood (PP) makes little to no logical sense, as no federal money is used to support abortions (which seems to be the GOP platform reason for why PP should be de-funded). I myself used PP as a young uninsured nursing student and even when I became a nurse with no insurance. PP was in fact my primary care for many years and PP offers great care options for women.

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This year when it came to my yearly exam, instead of literally waiting 8-12 weeks for an “annual” appointment with an MD or DO, I decided to have my basic needs met through PP. They take my insurance (which I am ever so grateful for) and I could make an appointment for a few days from when I went online. I could cancel my appointment online.

When I arrived, I was pleased to see a bowl full of condoms sitting out. I was in the waiting room with one other male in his mid-20’s, it was mid-day on a Monday. When I went back to the exam room, after only waiting about 10 minutes, the MA took my weight, BP, and did a brief health history with me. An NP was with me shortly after this, and we discussed many of prohormones and my overall health concerns. She did a breast exam, gynecological exam and pap smear, discussed peri-menapause with me, and she even spent a few minutes talking with me about my tween and what the latest approaches were for sexually active teens (including answering my questions about HPV and what my daughters’ experience might be like should she come to a PP for birth control when she is a teen).

I have to admit I was more comfortable here then visiting my primary care doctor, the one who is listed on my insurance. I like getting care from NPs, I trust them and appreciate the time they devote to prevention. The routine felt comfortable and I was at ease. I left with a plan to address some of my health concerns with other healthcare professionals and with an increased knowledge base around my own health and even my daughters’ future sexual health. Although my insurance paid for this health prevention visit, I made a donation to PP on the spot before I left the building. Omeprazole is used to treat conditions where reduction in acid secretion is required for proper healing, including stomach and intestinal ulcers (gastric and duodenal ulcers), the prevention and treatment of ulcers associated with medications known as NSAIDs, reflux esophagitis, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, heartburn, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). You can get losec prescription medicine online at https://www.ukmeds.co.uk/treatments/acid-reflux/losec-20mg/.

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I want PP to be around when my daughters’ might need them in the next few years. If you feel the same, I hope you will join me in contacting your legislative body and your local PP to see how you might be of assistance. To learn more about how to contact your representative in Washington DC, please visit: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Making a list – of ways to support health, equality and justice for all


A couple of days ago I received an email from Elizabeth Berrey, who is one of this project’s leaders, in response to my post of November 15, “Grieving for my country.” Her message inspired me to think quite specifically about the list of things that I will do over the coming months to participate in action to resist the dangers that are becoming more and more clear in the US and world-wide, threatening the health and well-being of world citizens everywhere.  After all, his is the time of year that our children are making lists in anticipation of the December holidays,  At the same time, the notion of “lists” in and of itself raises a specter of danger for many – for example, there is now a website recruiting names of “liberal professors” (see report here and here).

So let’s be clear – making a list of ways we can act and be involved can serve to inspire others, particularly those who are tempted to give up in despair given what is happening around us.  But the list must also lead to action – and this is what is so inspiring about Elizabeth’s message.  We may not agree about the specific ways to act, and we can certainly have a discussion about the race, class and economic implications of any action we choose to raise awareness in the quest for finding the best and most effective avenues.  But unless we act, and support those who are choosing different paths than our own, we in fact support the forces of injustice.

Elizabeth has given me permission to post her message here – so here it is, lightly edited, in the hope that the actions she is taking will inspire you to go beyond a mere list – to find your own ways to get involved!

Hi Peggy,
I have now read your post & sent it to my kids, some nurses, & other non-nurses.  I especially like that youEB-Photo-250 said that we must be ready at a moment’s notice. I also read the replies to date. Thx so much for clarifying to the person who wrote that we should stand with Trump & give him a chance.
I have been wearing, & will continue to wear, my safety pin – a large one in the top hole of my left ear. I brought safety pins to our NMOLOC  (New Mexico Old Lesbians Organizing for Change) Gathering this month, & explained what it means to the old Lesbians gathered. Our Unitarian church handed them out the 2 Sundays after the elections, with explanations for the whole congregation & especially the children.
As I think that I told you, I am working here in NM to get our state legislatures to sign onto the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Nurses across the country could do this, too! They could certainly activate their nursing associations to lobby their state legislators to sign onto this compact. This is the 2nd time that the electoral college has overturned the majority vote in this country since the turn of this century, for heavenssakes! As someone on the Laurence O’Donnell show said a couple of wks ago, “What we call the popular vote here in the US is called the vote in the rest of the world!”
We are organizing our NMOLOC chapter to show up in Santa Fe for the Million Women March (our state’s version). We’ll have our old Lesbian banner, of course!
We are planning training in resistance in our NMOLOC chapter for the coming yr — reminding us all of what we learned, and practiced, so many yrs ago. As you say, we must be ready!

Spiritual consciousness and healing


This is my first time posting a blog and the experience has been both exciting and a little uncomfortable. I am moving out of my comfort zone, writing from my heart and soul. I’m thankful for the experience and hope to get better with time.  Here it goes!

As a young child, growing up in a rural village in the Pines region of Mississippi, and spending time with my mother’s side of the family in my beloved Louisiana, I was in love with the beauty of the infinite universe. I was very connected to the earth that I loved to play in and smell, the flowers I loved to smell and pick, the tomatoes, okra, onion, squash, peas and butterbeans that I loved to eat and that I helped my grandfather nurture and pick when they were ripe, the love and care of my father and mother and older brother, my ancestors, grandparents – both maternal and paternal – and great grandparents, great aunts and uncles and cousins and the infinite universe of goodness, simplicity, love, and beauty. The freedom and love of being a child of the infinite universe allowed me to sense into the universal rhythms of light and dark, activity and rest, stability and change, being and becoming, even though I didn’t have an advanced vocabulary for these things at that time. All of these experiences represented a universe where healing, love, and nurturing occurred. In the past few years, I have come to see these experiences as reflecting spiritual consciousness. I cherish being in touch with spiritual consciousness, and, thus, carefully tend to it patiently as a potentiality for nursing’s healing mission. Can the nurse working within spiritual consciousnes help other human beings experience healing and their own spiritual consciousness in order to transcend suffering of psychic, physical, social, existential, and emotional pain? I believe so.

Within the nursing context, I view spiritual consciousness as the unfolding of loving energy and various modalities of integrating nature and meaning whereby nurses facilitate healing. The nurse’s spiritual consciousness soothes worries and brings healing to others when they are in fear, pain, or suffering. Spiritual consciousness illuminates the universal need for humanization in nursing situations whereby dehumanizing circumstances deny or strip human beings of their dignity and humanity. Spiritual consciousness is the loving consciousness and healing energy that human beings tap into to restore harmony in times of disharmony.

Spiritual consciousness is evolved consciousness for nursing. It can be cultivated by nurses worldwide to facilitate healing. The nurse, in spiritual consciousness, being loving toward another during moments of the other’s suffering, brings healing energy to the situation. Spiritual consciousness is characterized by spaciousness and lightness. It provides a glimpse into the goodness and beauty of the universe, and the freedom not to get bogged down or trapped in mere physical and limiting aspects of being. I believe it is central to nursing’s healing mission. Thus, the notion of spiritual consciousness challenges each of us in nursing to experience this loving energy and to discuss it for better understanding the usefulness and limits of spiritual consciousness for facilitating healing. images

The human mind’s binding capacity can be warded off by shifting into spiritual consciousness. Spiritual consciousness does not include limited and bounded views such as hatred, sense of division, greed and power over others, malice, or separation between us, other human beings, earth, plants, animals, rocks, trees, rivers, stars, and the moon. In spiritual consciousness, we are all universal one.

As nurses gain experience sensing into their own spiritual consciousness, nursing will be better poised to meet its social mandate. Working from within spiritual consciousness, nurses are provided with multiple pathways for healings to occur. As nursing and society evolve, ideas related to spiritual consciousness and healing need further development.

Gun violence: A nursing concern?


Once again we find ourselves reeling from a mass shooting, this time in a small community college in Oregon. One of the most disturbing reports of the Umpqua Community College incident was that the dead victims’ cell phones were ringing when police and rescue workers arrived on the scene, as their families and friends tried to make contact with them. The heartbreak for this community is palpable; for nursing educators, the concern of wondering if this could happen in our classrooms, in our schools, is unsettling. Some of us might recall the 2002 Arizona nursing faculty mass shooting, where 3 nursing professors were gunned down and killed by a student who had failed a pediatric class and decided that he had the shooting authority and was angry enough, I suppose, I don’t understand really, why.

What has changed since those 2002 shootings? If you scroll through your facebook feed today, it is likely you will find many postings about the statistics of mass shootings, thoughts about how nothing has changed, and debates over stricter gun control. Meanwhile, I feel that nursing should be viewing the gun violence issue as a public health issue, and we could be the ones helping to lead the way in preventing future mass shootings. We have a strong voice, as we recently proved with the “#Drsstethoscope ” and “#nursesunite ” movements; and now perhaps we could unite over some issues that deeply impact the health of all beings on this planet.

The American Public Health Association (APHA) has made clear statements that gun violence is preventable (https://www.apha.org/~/media/files/pdf/factsheets/gun_violence_prevention.ashx). APHA recognizes that gun violence is contagious and has become an epidemic in the United States. APHA recommends that we:

  • Use surveillance techniques to track- gun related deaths and injurious shootings.
  • Focus on identifying the many risk factors for gun violence.
  • Create, implement, and evaluate interventions that reduce these risk factors and support resilience for those who are suffering.
  • Institutionalize prevention strategies.

We also clearly need more research in this area; we need to examine what common sense gun policies might look like, what have other countries implemented; what worked for them, and what has not worked for them.

Nurses and educators can begin in their work places, looking at their own risks within the workplace, and working toward implementing prevention strategies and trainings around what to do should an issue of gun violence begin to emerge.

We need to also reach out to communities, particularly school settings, and develop and support education around gun safety, bullying, mental health issues, and how to ask for help. We need to have mental health services in place that can truly identify and properly intervene with those who are at risk for gun violence.

Nurses could also bond together, #nursesunite, and create a clear voice around stricter gun control. We could do our own research around what has worked in other countries and what that might look like here, and then bring these ideas forward to our lawmakers. At the very least, we could be calling for better access to mental health services for those in need, and early identification of those who might be at risk for perpetuating gun violence. Childhood traumas likely play a role in this issue as well, and supporting the creation of trauma informed schools should be a nursing advocacy issue.

We have power in our numbers; let’s put it to great use. #nursesunite