Happy Nurses Week in this Year 2019

Happy Nurses Week !

Where is nursing in this year of 2019?

Nursing is ever evolving. Nursing’s history has paralleled the evolution of the human experience and society’s health, healing and caring needs within the consciousness of the time.

At A Crossroads

Our time now can be characterized as a crossroads-

  • with the trajectory of hard science and technology pulling us one way, and
  • patients’ and nurses’ existential need for authenticity and conscious connections pulling us another way.

Messaging Conflict?

I admit that giving voice to nurses’ intrinsic need for authentic caring connections creates a messaging conflict for nursing’s long waging public image struggle.

Here we are at a time when nursing has gained rightful recognition for saving lives and making patients safe in healthcare’s high risk environments, and our cultural wellness renaissance brings us back to the “touchy-feely”.

I acknowledge that lots of talk about authentic caring can’t help but trigger the “Virtue Script” image.  The historic virtue script trivializes our caring as gestures done selflessly, out of nobility, self-sacrifice and virtue.

The Benefits of Caring Language

So the challenge is being strategic in our use of caring language. Caring Science has a voice through caring language.  A language that threads:

  • what we know (the existential roots of authenticity and deep human connection)
  • with what we do (nurses provide deep human connection in times of vulnerability and suffering)
  • with the meaning (comfort, safety, information, healing) that benefit patients and others.

Our caring language reflects caring science.

“Just a Nurse” ?

I admit that I do resent the Virtue Script. That’s why I feel strong when reading this poem by Suzanne Gordon.  It captures the edgy feeling that often surrounds being a nurse.



Celebration of Nightingale 2019

Nursing certainly has had a complicated history…. And present.

Florence Nightingale defined our origins and scope.

Her intelligence and insights launched us into caring, healing, leading and global action that continues to impact nursing, medicine and healthcare to this day.

And we continue to morph through every societal transition.

These are the facts about what nurses do and our forever covenant with society 

Gordon S. Nursing Against The Odds. Ithaca: ILR Press; 2005.

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