1. Section Editor(s): Newland, Jamesetta A. PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, DPNAP, FAAN

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March is Women's History Month, and the 2021 theme, "Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced," appropriately describes the challenging times in which we live. I celebrate the inauguration of Vice President (VP) Kamala Harris, a former Senator from California, and former VP Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States of America. VP Harris is able to lay claim to several firsts: the first Black American, the first Asian American, and the first woman to be voted into the nation's second-highest office in an historic presidential election on November 3, 2020. I am so proud of her and everyone who participated in the election process. It would be an understatement to say that I am simply bursting with hope, ambition, respect, resolve, inspiration, and strength. VP Harris' professional career has been exemplary; her rise and recognition have been steady and direct through a demonstrable ethos. Others before her paved the way through example and the willingness to fight for what they believed were their given rights.

Jamesetta A. Newland... - Click to enlarge in new windowJamesetta A. Newland. Jamesetta A. Newland

The right to vote

We have heard so often since the November election, "The people have spoken." The right to vote is one privilege of living in a democratic society that should not be denied to all who are eligible. I would be remiss if I did not give acclaim to Stacey Abrams, an unstoppable force in Georgia. Her efforts in mobilizing Black voters were unprecedented. Grassroots efforts such as hers are key to protecting the right to vote for all Americans. History shows us that women have powerful influence in politics and in elected and appointed positions within local, state, and national legislative bodies when given the opportunity. Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the right to vote for women in the US via the 19th amendment. However, not all countries treat a woman's right to vote equally. An article from the Pew Research Center offers a brief overview of women's suffrage around the world. Women stand ready.1


Choose to challenge

International Women's Day (IWD) is March 8, 2021. Its theme is explained by "A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let's all choose to challenge. How will you help forge a gender equal world? Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality."2 Everyone is challenged to select a cause, stand up for it, and promote change toward gender equality. The symbol this year is a raised hand. Organizers invite you to post a photo of yourself in this pose along with your challenge noted on the IWD website using the hashtags #IWD2021 and #IWDtheme. Take a look to see the variety of interests and commitments already posted.


Supporting advanced practice

VP Harris is a friend to NPs. As a US senator, she was a cosponsor of the Home Health Planning Improvement Act of 2019 S. 296, which would allow NPs, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants to order home healthcare services. Every year, NPs lobby to move this legislation forward. Not being able to order home healthcare for our patients is a barrier to providing comprehensive care and continues to impact our capacity for full-practice authority in many states. Having support from local authorities and putting into office friends of NPs are just as important as electing friends of NPs to state and national offices. Never miss an opportunity to vote if you are eligible and registered-we owe it to those who preceded us. Every NP vote counts.


Jamesetta A. Newland, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, DPNAP, FAAN

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1. Schaeffer K. Key facts about women's suffrage around the world, a century after U.S. ratified 19th Amendment. Pew Research Center FacTank. 2020. [Context Link]


2. International Women's Day. 2021. [Context Link]