Authors

  1. Miracle, Vickie A. EdD, RN, CCRN, CCNS, CCRC

Article Content

As I write this, my mind is truly on the upcoming election in November. You see, tomorrow is the Kentucky primary election. Yes, I realize that this is the November/December issue, but I wrote this in May. In addition to selecting a candidate from each party to run for the office of president of the United States, in Kentucky, we will also vote on several state, county, and city offices. It is hard not to think about the election. We have been bombarded by advertisements, visits from candidates, news reports, yard signs, and fund-raising galas. It is very easy to become weary of all the preamble to the elections. Some of us may want to ignore the hoopla. However, this is the wrong choice.

 

Like many of you, I grow tired of all the advertisements and the negative campaigning. There are times when I want to ignore all of it and escape to a deserted island. Then I bring myself back to reality and begin to take a good look at the candidates and where they stand on the issues of importance to me. I will spend time reviewing the issues and opinions of the candidates for all offices because I must be an informed voter.

 

Remember, voting is a privilege, not a right.1 Every vote counts. I have heard many people say they only have one vote and it will not make a difference. This is definitely not true. A friend of mine lost an election for a city office by less than 10 votes. So every vote does matter.

 

So why should you vote (besides it being a responsibility of citizenship)? Nurses are the largest group of healthcare providers. We care about many political issues, especially those that impact healthcare. Our votes can and do make a difference. We need to let politicians hear our voices and know our views on healthcare issues.2 The elected officials will be the ones to draft new legislature that will impact patient care, healthcare, and other issues of importance to us. To participate in the process, we must first vote for the candidate whom we feel be the best to undertake those daunting tasks.3

 

There are many reasons people do not vote. These include1: (1) too busy, (2) scheduling conflicts, (3) illness, (4) apathy, (5) forgetting, (6) not registered to vote, (7) transportation problems, and (8) inconvenience. Studies have shown that people with more education vote more often than do those with less education. In addition, older voters (65-74 years of age) are more likely to vote than any other age group.1

 

As we near the major elections in November, I ask that you do the following:

 

1. Make sure you are registered to vote.

 

2. Get to know the candidates for every office. The biggest decision in November will be the presidential race. However, there are many other national, state, and local races. Take the time to review each candidate's opinions on issues of importance to you.

 

3. Take time to know the issues. There are many issues that affect us, both professionally and personally. Educate yourself about these issues and determine where you stand.

 

4. Determine the location of your voting precinct.

 

5. VOTE.

 

 

I know you are tired of the campaigning, especially the negative advertisements. So am I. But for yourself and others, please take the time to know the issues and candidates. Please vote with your heart and head. Take the time to exercise your privilege of voting. Nurses can and do make a difference. If you do not vote, you have no right to complain.

 

On another note, I wish all of you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season and 2009.

 

Vickie A. Miracle, EdD, RN, CCRN, CCNS, CCRC

 

Editor, DCCN and Lecturer

 

Bellarmine University

 

School of Nursing

 

Louisville, Kentucy

 

vmiracle@aol.com

 

References

 

1. Girard NJ. What type of voter are you? Association of Operating Room Nurses. AORN J. 2004;80(4):643-644. [Context Link]

 

2. Razor B. Is this a "four letter word"? Nev RNformation. 2008;16(4):25. [Context Link]

 

3. ONS voting members, raise your voice and state your choice. ONS News. 2006;21(11):9. [Context Link]