School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: A Duty to Write

Writing, to me, has always been the duty of anyone in proximity to culture. We all have opinions and they are all worth recording. – Kimberly Drew

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As a school nurse and a family member of two generations that survived mass shootings, it is my duty to write about firearm violence prevention. I am encouraged by the number of colleagues that are also speaking up and joining in this “duty to write.”

Nurses are skilled communicators, it is in our DNA and enforced in our training. We are especially adept at communicating within our profession through learning opportunities and professional journals. We have a duty to speak outside of nursing with as much fervor as we do within our profession. From the outside, our silence is deafening. It is time that we move outside of the walls of nursing and encourage our silence to be heard.

Nurses speak about being misunderstood, undervalued, unappreciated and marginalized. Perhaps some of this is self-imposed, albeit unintentionally, but as a result of “staying in our lane.” We need to move from speaking almost exclusively to each other to using the public platforms of social media where the voice of nursing is included when we participate.

How shall we encourage our professional organizations to take a public stand about what some may deem controversial or political issues?  Or are we hiding behind the curtain of politics when it is an ethical issue? Are we confusing politics with morality? The duty to write has brought me to ask these difficult, but necessary questions.

I recently wrote a blog post calling on nurses to move from “Silence to Voice,” borrowing the title of the book adeptly written by Buresh & Gordon. Words have power, but when we only speak to each other, our impact is truncated. There is much work to do and our colleagues outside of nursing are inviting us to join them.

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





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