1. Section Editor(s): Raso, Rosanne MS, RN, NEA-BC

Article Content

We can't help but be affected by the current state of omnipresent violence and tragedy. It's across the globe, in our country and communities, and within our workplaces. Our colleagues all over the nation are managing the effects of unrelenting brutality, often under chaotic conditions. Our organizations are once again struggling with security and disaster preparedness. We witness patient and family grief every day, as well as aggressive and assaultive behaviors by visitors and patients. Our staff members are stressed and we are, too, trying to find safe havens. How do we rise above, support societal change, manage violence and its effects, and relieve suffering? That's a tall order.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

The Huffington Post recently published a blog by American Nurses Association President Pamela Cipriano titled "We Must Work Together To End Gun Violence." She states, "We can stop the madness by forging solutions that address the myriad issues that promote cycles of violence." Whatever your political position, you can't argue with our professional obligation to protect human beings.


I certainly can't understand gun violence, killing, hatred, or bigotry-it just isn't in my value system or personal culture. We're always talking about listening to other perspectives as an important component of our leadership toolboxes: How do we extend this skill to society? We must seek out forums to act for the well-being of our communities and workplaces; it's our responsibility as nurses. Violence, hatred, and prejudice can't be condoned or excused at any level on their spectrums, including workplace incivility. Zero tolerance and organizational commitment to safe and civil work environments are neither easy nor optional.


Do we have implicit or latent, subconscious biases we don't even realize based on stereotypes or upbringing? We have to reach into our hearts and acknowledge that there's room to improve when it comes to judging people equally. I can't answer how hatred and distrust develop; nonetheless, it's imperative that we commit to change. Kindness for all people should be driving our behavior-in and out of the workplace-and this is, of course, within the parameters of law and order, and just societies.


As nurse leaders and members of the most respected profession in the country, we advocate for patients, families, staff, colleagues, friends, neighborhoods, regions, and local/state/federal legislation. This advocacy role is in many of our professional practice models, in the Code of Ethics for Nurses, and even in our personal values. Never has it been more critical for us to find the courage to be advocates. Nurses stand for civility, respect, acceptance, and equality in our care of others. It's who we are and what we do. Be the nurse leader the world needs now.



Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.