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Let's get political - #WeNurses
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A few years ago we held a tweetchat around politics and the political influence of nurses ... with a general election on the horizon we thought it was time to revisit that tweetchat and discuss politics in nursing again:
December 12th is the day when we all go to the polls and vote for our next government - so what better time tackle the subject of politics in nursing than now. In recent years we have seen many contentious issues hit the headlines that have affected nursing: Brexit, the NHS bursary, nursing pay, austerity and cutbacks just to name a few. This clearly shows that political decisions affect nursing and the people we care for daily. Hamer (2015) presents a strong case for nurses to engage in the political process stating "As outlined in the new Nursing and Midwifery Council Code, to ensure professionalism and trust we need to “provide leadership to make sure people’s wellbeing is protected” and that we improve people’s experience of the healthcare system. That means as leaders we all need to ask questions and actively engage in the political process" Which implies that we all have a degree os professional duty towards being political.
- Politics can change the work we do
- We can represent the interests of the nursing profession
- We can advocate for our patients
Jackson goes on to outline ways in which nurses can be politically active:
- Encourage others to vote
- Call or email MPs and tell them what matters to you
- Engage with a political party or organisation on social media
- Actively participate in your nursing union
- Join a protest or demonstration
- Write a letter to a journal editor about an issue
- Run for a political position
- Talk about politics
Jennifer Jackson expands on these thoughts in her blog for the Journal of Research in Nursing:
Modern nurses face a call to action, to defend the professional nature of nursing, and regain their political influence
These concepts are expanded on further in Georgina Morley's and Jennifer Jacksons Journal of Research in Nursing article:
This #WeNurses tweetchat aims to explore the following questions:
- Why should nurses get political?
- Is there a difference between big "P' politics and little "p" politics? And what role can nurses play in both ?
- What do we mean by political influence in nursing?
- How can nurses defend the professional nature of nursing and regain our political influence?
- What can each of us do to ensure nurses and nursing has political influence?