Nurses have 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 nursing continues to morph through every societal transition.

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Now we are in the crossfire between

 the ongoing expansion of hard science and technology

and the cry for higher caring consciousness.

This poem by Suzanne Gordon captures the edgy feeling that often surrounds being a nurse.


These are facts about what nurses do and their impact. 

Nurses ARE  “central to providing the real bottom-line in health care”

So Why “just a Nurse“? 

Why that feeling?

Is it because there’s a feeling of being ‘never enough’ ?

Is it because the focus of responsibilities keeps changing?

Is it about not being acknowledged for all you do?

On the personal level, all of the above is too often true.

On the broader level, it’s about nursing being overshadowed by the medicalization of healthcare ….

AND where nurses ‘Doings’ achieve all that is listed in the poem,

while striving to connect with patients through Authentic Caring. 

This is our battleground.

This is where nurses struggle.

This is where there is a ‘WAR of CARING”. 


Dossey BM, Seanders LC, Beck D, Attewell A. Florence Nightingale Today: Healing, Leadership, Global Action. Maryland: ANA; 2005.
Buresh B, Gordon S. From Silence To Voice: What Nurses Know and Must Communicate to the Public. 3rd Edition. Ithaca: ILR Press; 2013.
Gordon S. Nursing Against The Odds. Ithaca: ILR Press; 2005.

2 thoughts on “the WAR of CARING

  1. Jae Sanders says:

    Loved THIS!!! Thank you. Sometimes, we miss the mark because the patient has an entirely different need compared to the nurses’ want (to educate, to perform a task, to give a medication). Often, this can be solved by just asking the patient what the goal for this moment of caring is. While giving a medication may be a priority, raising the blinds may be “just what the doctor ordered”.

    1. pmcclendon says:

      Perfect! It’s great when a message rings a bell for another…

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