I co-authored this Op-ed with Dean Donna Nickitas from Rutgers-Camden Nursing and Donna Mazyck, Executive Director of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN).
MLK wrote about the “fierce urgency of now,” a message that rings as true today as it was when he shared it more than 50 years ago. Addressing the public health crisis of gun violence requires that sense of fierce urgency and action. This Op-Ed, published today, the very weekend following the aftermath of yet another mass shooting, gives a school nurse’s perspective on this uniquely American crisis.
“The fierce urgency of now,” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently put it, calls on us to take immediate action in order to address gun violence for what it is: a public health crisis.
Whether it’s an active shooter ravaging the safety of our nation’s schools, or the slow mass shootings that happen in communities across the country, our children are suffering. Violence and revenge are partners in wreaking havoc on innocence and, when coupled with access to weapons, cause death and destruction in the most innocent of spaces.
It is time to stop and recognize the fierce urgency of now to address the heinous outcomes of gun violence that cause our children to lose their lives and deprive them of their futures.
Published by Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN
Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN, is a Nationally Certified School Nurse (NCSN), currently in her 22nd year as a New Jersey school nurse in the Camden City School District. Robin is the Director for New Jersey to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) Board. She is proud to be a Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Fellow and past Program Mentor. Robin is the honored recipient of multiple awards for her work in school nursing and population health. These awards include, 2019 and 2020 National Association of School Nurses President’s Award, 2018 NCSN School Nurse of the Year, 2017 Johnson & Johnson School Nurse of the Year, and the New Jersey Department of Health 2017 Population Health Hero Award. Robin serves as faculty in the School Nurse Certificate Program at Rutgers University-Camden School of Nursing, where she teaches the next generation of school nurses. She was presented the 2018 Rutgers University – Camden Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award for Part-time Faculty. Robin writes a weekly blog called The Relentless School Nurse. She also writes a monthly column in My American Nurse, the official journal of the American Nurses Association. Robin’s work is included as a case study in The Future of Nursing Report 2020-2030. You can follow Robin on Twitter at @RobinCogan.
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