Monday, June 25, 2018

To the American Nurses Association and the American Academy of Nursing

I'm writing to ask for your leadership in leveraging your clear statements of opposition to separating families at the border by the American Nurses Association and the American Academy of Nursing(pdf). It is a moral and humanitarian crisis, not just a political one. 

Today's call by the president* for deportation without due process is chilling.

If this doesn't stop, what happens next?

Nurses continue to be the professionals most trusted by the public. We've earned that trust, and are tasked with providing guidance to our colleagues and the public, based on sound and objective evidence. We are advocates and educators. Our actions are based on caring.

The AAN's statement regarding toxic stress, and the ANA's second and more definitive statement of opposition are good first steps. 

Is that good enough? Are we doing enough? What else can we do? 

I ask that we use our positions of privilege to speak loudly and act decisively on behalf of the most vulnerable, including children and women, who are suffering NOW.

1. Expand and promote the ANA's and AAN's statements within and among all other nursing organizations and associations - clinical specialties; regional, state, and local affiliates; student nursing organizations; and other like professional, caregiving, and advocacy organizations.

2. Mobilize membership and support their continued professional development, including access to credible sources for information, and to organizations that need our support.

3. Emphasize the essential responsibility of each nurse as an individual to become informed and active in the participatory process called 'democracy,' which includes ongoing contact with elected representatives at every level, so that each individual voice is heard; and exercising First Amendment rights of free speech, association, and protest.

Please help. Please lead. We must not throw away the public trust that's been was so hard-earned. 

Jerry Soucy, RN CHPN
Clinical and Community Educator
Death Nurse, LLC