A Matter of National Security

What would our country be like without its safety officers? We have great police, fire and military personnel securing our townships, counties and cities all over the United States. These heroes go recognized for the contributions they make for protecting our citizens across the nation.

 As a public sector registered nurse for more than twenty five years I can tell you from experience that nurses are also safety officers. We play a significant role in saving and maintaining law and order, safety and security in populations that are connected by health.  We can put up walls and fences but without the implementation of basic health standards there are no boundaries to the disease and despair that rakes through a nation that skimps on prevention and education of healthcare.   

Nurses are essential to changing our nation to a culture of prevention because of our sheer numbers, our presence in every cultural community, and because we are so trusted by the public. The fact that a school nurse must be shared between institutions and have been cut so drastically across our nation is an appalling example of how the low number of nurses in proportion to a population can produce devastating effects. Our nation is leading in childhood obesity and teenage pregnancy when this statistic could be redirected if an ample number of nurses were employed by each school. Continue reading “A Matter of National Security”

The Forgotten Nurses

When one thinks of a nurse, the first image that often comes to mind is a picture of an attentive caregiver appearing at your bedside in your time of greatest need. A nurse doles out pills, gives you an injection or gently changes your dressing.  All well and good; but, what about the public health RNs–the “forgotten nurses,” as I like to call them?  Aren’t they worthy of recognition?

May 6-May 12, was National Nurses Week, a yearly occasion that not only commemorates Florence Nightingale, the founder of evidence-based nursing but it’s also a time to take stock to see how far nursing has come into the public’s awareness as a worthy and valuable profession.

There are all kinds of nurses who perform a wide variety of jobs. While the majority of nurses working in hospitals there are research RNs, administrators, educators, and infection control nurses, just to name a few. As for public health nurses, they  give direct care working in the trenches: caring for the patients in the battlefields of our neighborhoods and as first responders during disaster or enemy attack.     

Continue reading “The Forgotten Nurses”