“It’s not enough to simply be in the parade: nurse leaders must be marching a block in front, waving the red flag of professionalism.”
– Katharine Densford, ANA president 1944-1948

As nurses around the country watch to see if Washington’s legis­la­ture will pass urgently needed breaks and overtime protec­tions, it’s incred­ibly impor­tant to keep one thing in mind: the power nurses’ voices have owning our profes­sion. The last few days nurses have illus­trated the power they have when they are engaged. When push comes to shove, what else will we do as a profes­sion? Will we stay engaged? Will you write your legis­la­tors on other issues? Will we keep the pressure on?

Over the last few days, nurses across the country have signed petitions, sent emails, and left voice­mails by the hundreds and hundreds of thousands; we are talking about a massive level of engagement.

Together
Credit: Shutterstock

We must keep it up. Nurses are power. Nurses are power, that is, when we are on the same team.

Research, focus groups, and studies show that nurses, as the most trusted profes­sion, are powerful polit­ical advocates. When we speak, we are heard. 

Hospi­tals and their lobby­ists under­stand this better than anybody. Because of that, the number one tool in the hospital admin­is­tra­tion toolbox is turn nurses against each other.” Take a look at the strate­gies they use across the country. It happened in Massa­chu­setts. It’s happened with our national nursing organi­za­tions. And it almost happened here.

When we stand up and stand together, we CAN and do make changes. We have many issues needing similar atten­tion such as bullying, workplace violence, and safe staffing. Will you stand with us beyond this week?

It’s amazing how nurses have unified around this one issue. But please get involved. Get engaged in your union. Come to our rally. Partic­i­pate in the discus­sion on social media. Sign the petition. Like our page, share our posts, email your legis­la­tors: about this and about your day to day life in the profes­sion. Talk to your coworkers. 

Lean in to the profes­sion — that’s how we win, for ourselves and for our patients.