School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: From Silence to Voice

“Envision how things would be if the voice & visibility of the nursing profession were commensurate with size & importance of the nursing profession”                                                              – Buresh & Gordon From Silence to Voice

The voice of nursing in the public health emergency of gun violence must be amplified. There are approximately 3 million nurses in the US, yet, we still grapple with using our collective voice. We are a powerful force but do we maximize our strength and influence to its potential? Imagine a world where we did, the change we could generate would be transformational.

I recently spoke at a large gathering of school nurses about this exact issue. When I read the evaluations, one stood out above the others, it said: “the speaker was on a soapbox.” While that message initially stung, after all, public speaking in itself is an act of incredible vulnerability, I wondered if being on a soapbox was actually negative. If being on a soapbox means you are speaking about a topic of importance and urgency, then, yes, I ask my fellow 3 million nurses to join me. Let’s speak about the public health emergency of gun violence from 3 million soap boxes in every corner of this country. What are we waiting for?

Social media platforms like Twitter have created a synergy where healthcare professionals are connecting and uniting in unprecedented numbers to explain why gun violence belongs in the healthcare sector.  Outrage over the response to the NRA’s baseless accusation that physicians should “stay in their lane” has served as a bridge to connect multiple disciplines across all sectors, including nursing. But are we fully participating in this opportunity to amplify our voice and influence?  

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