1. Olson, DaiWai M. Editor

Article Content

It is my belief that, as nurses, we should hold ourselves to the accountability bestowed upon us. Nursing is repeatedly recognized as the most trustworthy of professions. As members of this profession, we are entrusted with an obligation to the community. One such obligation is to use our voices, individually and collectively, to provide guidance to the political forces that will design a future in which our patients may thrive.

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In almost every country of the world, there exists the opportunity to vote. In fact, whether you live in North America, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, or Australia, you will likely have the opportunity to vote several times within the next year. In my 3 decades of nursing, I have met thousands of nurses and I know that you each give much of your time. Now, I am asking you to give up yet another portion of your day and vote. How you vote is up to you, but at every opportunity, vote.


The intimate and honest moments we share with patients and families provide us with a unique insight toward the needs of the community. As neuroscience nurses, we have a special connection to the patients whose spinal cords, brains, and nervous systems fail to perform in a normal manner-the vulnerable comatose patient who requires our steadfast monitoring, the pediatric patient with stroke who can't run and play like his friends, the newly diagnosed patient with Alzheimer struggling to plan for her uncertain future, the seizure patient who just wants to know when she can drive to work by herself.


Throughout the year, we are presented with voting opportunities. On the surface, some votes appear very minor: what color scrubs do we wear? Who will be our local AANN Chapter President? However, these seemingly minor issues have the potential to shape the future. The local president becomes the board member who is presented with the opportunity to speak directly with a politician who introduces a new bill. Others are more directly impactful: national elections, local referendums-what color scrubs do we wear?


Do not be misguided by those who say your vote doesn't matter. There are cases throughout history describing elections that were won or lost on a single vote. However, even when the outcome is determined by several million votes, your vote matters. The official who wins by a landslide is granted the power that comes with numbers. When the vote is 90% in favor of lime green scrubs, there is little likelihood that you can revisit the issue at the next staff meeting.


A defining trait of our profession is a holistic view of humanity. We treat the poor and rich with equal respect. Our research aims to improve the lives of every person on the planet. In each issue of the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, you will find articles that provide insight on the future of neuroscience nursing. As your read the articles this month, consider how the local, regional, and national issues may impact how we provide care to our patients. Consider how your vote will impact your patients' futures. Voting truly is both a privilege and an obligation. After all, nobody really wants neuroscience nurses to end up working in lime green scrubs.


The Editor declares no conflicts of interest.

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