School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: Embracing Your Interpersonal Bill of Rights – Navigating Respectful Conversations

For all of the relentless advocates for school health who follow this blog, it’s time to dive into our “Interpersonal Bill of Rights.” I found the graphic for this blog post a few weeks ago and posted it on my Facebook page. More than 4,000 school nurses clicked on the graphic, so I thought it would be important to take a deeper look at the contents. In our journey as school nurses, we often find ourselves engaging in conversations that vary from joyful celebrations to challenging discussions. But just like anyone else, we deserve to be treated with respect and kindness, no matter the circumstances. So, as a new school year begins and we are once again entrusted to care for our nation’s 50 million + children, remember we have the following rights too:

Respect: A Fundamental Right

Picture this: you walk into your school nurse’s office, ready to make a difference in the lives of your students. With your heart full of compassion, you’re a true force to be reckoned with. And guess what? You have the right to be treated with respect. No one has the right to shout, threaten, or belittle you, whether it’s about your accomplishments or your ideas. You are a professional, and that demands respect.

Creating Space for Compassion

Let’s talk about that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes when someone treats you gently, considers your thoughts, and acknowledges your dreams. That feeling is essential. As relentless school nurses, we thrive on compassion, and it’s our right to be treated with it. We juggle a lot – from health emergencies to supporting emotional needs – and our efforts deserve to be recognized.

Acknowledging Achievements and Dreams

Think about the feeling you get when your hard work pays off when you make a real difference in a student’s life. It’s a feeling that deserves recognition. You have the right for your dreams, achievements, and goals to be acknowledged. Your impact matters and it’s a cause for celebration.

Empowerment to Disengage

There might be times when conversations don’t align with your Interpersonal Bill of Rights. And that’s okay. You have the power to disengage from or physically remove yourself from any conversation that doesn’t honor these rights. Your well-being matters, and it’s okay to step back when necessary.

Claiming Your Rights

So, fellow relentless school nurses, let’s make a pact to uphold our “Interpersonal Bill of Rights.”  We deserve respect, gentleness, compassion, and acknowledgment. Our dreams and achievements deserve to be celebrated. And when conversations fall short, remember that you have the power to disengage.

As we continue to serve our schools and communities with unwavering dedication, let’s hold onto our rights with fierce determination. We are a force to be reckoned with, and our voices deserve to be heard. Here’s to a future filled with conversations that honor our worth, every single day.

Stay relentless, my friends.

With passion and dedication,

Robin Cogan, The Relentless School Nurse


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