Inauguration and women's marches are calls to action




Defying political polls and pundit predictions, on the morning of Nov. 9, 2016, millions of Americans who missed the late night acceptance speech awoke to the news of Donald Trump’s presidential victory. A long and hard election period marked by deep political and ideological differences was followed by the tears and triumph of last Friday’s inauguration. But the weekend had just begun. Next came the placards and protests of Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington and several other women’s marches that were held over the weekend across the country and around the world or in other countries.

Started by a retired attorney (and grandmother) in Hawaii and a New York-based fashion designer with similar ideas, according to a Los Angeles Times article, the Women’s March on Washington was designed to unite in protest of President Trump’s inauguration and join in solidarity for women’s rights. Originally named the Million Women March in tribute to the 1997 Philadelphia event of the same name, it later was renamed the Women’s March on Washington in honor of the 1963 March on Washington, during which Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

The inauguration and the marches are over. Some are celebrating while others are wondering what the Trump presidency might mean for our already divided country. Half the country is angry and the other half is feeling relieved and vindicated — the usual outcome in an American presidential election, absent the rare landslide victory.

Each of us has a right to our opinions and beliefs, whatever they are. The danger is when we have no opinions or beliefs or no positions or stands on issues. The American Nurses Association took a stand early in the presidential campaign by officially endorsing Hillary Clinton, based on her voting record and her being a champion of nursing in the Senate and as First Lady — something that made many nurses hopeful. On the other hand, half the country voted for President Trump, making it likely there’s another large segment of nurses out there who also are hopeful and looking forward to the Trump’s presidency.

Each of us has a right to our opinions and beliefs, whatever they are. The danger is when we have no opinions or beliefs or no positions or stands on issues.”

Are you hopeful? Or are you filled with fear and uncertainty? Are you thinking about what President Trump’s term and women’s increased activism might mean for you, your job, our profession and the nation’s healthcare system?

We need to stay laser-focused on what’s going on and how governmental actions will impact us. Journalists are writing about what this presidency might mean for healthcare. Information on White House plans and agenda items are being posted online daily. News reports about meetings and initiatives are coming out almost constantly.

The politicians and pundits will continue to make lots of noise in D.C., and we need to make some noise, too. We need to be tuned in and turned on to looking for ways to make our voices heard, just as AORN did at the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Kay Ball, PhD, RN, CNOR, FAAN, past president of AORN, served on a panel at the RNC and Danielle Glover, MPA, AORN legal and government affairs manager, attended the DNC’s RealClearPolitics panel.

Lastly, we must heed the call to action as nurses and Americans, and work to promote national harmony and unity. Hillary Clinton did this when she said of the new president: “We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power. We don’t just respect that. We cherish it.”

And, opinions and emotions aside, so did former President Obama and President Trump as they stood together with their First Ladies at the White House. After one of the most controversial and contentious elections and inaugurations in history, they carried out the peaceful transfer of power.

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About the author
Eileen Williamson, MSN, RN

Eileen Williamson, MSN, RN 

Eileen Williamson, MSN, RN, is a former senior vice president and CNE at OnCourse Learning, where she led nursing programs and initiatives. She continues to write and act as a consultant for Nurse.com. Before joining the company in 1998, Eileen was employed by North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New York, where she held a number of leadership positions in nursing and hospital administration, including chief nurse at two of the system’s member hospitals. She holds a BSN and an MSN in administration, and is a graduate fellow of the Johnson & Johnson University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Nurse Executives program. She also is a board member and past president of the New Jersey League for Nursing, a constituent league of the National League for Nursing.

19 responses to “Inauguration and women’s marches are calls to action”

  1. Until tonight I did not know that the ANA endorsed Hillary Clinton. This just made my deciding factor on NOT to join. I’m glad I read this article before joining.

  2. You have lost your mind. It is not half and half. The majority voted for Trump and the people are sick of the left and their views! Please don’t include this RN in your political view. It is an embarrassment to my profession.

  3. As a nurse, with a long career and deep love ❤️ of the profession, as well as love of country and humanity, I must say that I find your endorsement of Hillary- or any candidate in such a divisive time, hypocritical,& indeed negating of your claims that everyone is entitled to an opinion.

    I have provided care to people that are everywhere on the spectrum, including criminals, felons, homeless, citizens, non/citizens, and wealthy as well. Your view, in my opinion alienates many, too many of our fellows!!!!

    • Hello Nat,

      I found nothing divisive or negative about this article. Just as you have your opinions, this writer has hers. My hope is that we as nurses/people stop nitpicking on who is right or wrong but focus on the important things like treating others like we’d like to be treated, ensuring that healthcare is not only accessible to all but affordable.

    • I agree. There have been a silent number of people who have suffered for the last eight years. Many no longer have jobs. Others lost their insurance or cannot afford the ACA mandated inurance or co-pays. Others have lost religious freedoms. They were not raging about the last president when he was elected. They accepted him. But this time, it has become ridiculous. And this article does not help.

    • Thank you NAT – I felt the same way .
      For me I will no longer patron this magazine…
      Facts please not opinions … Isn’t that what the nursing profession boasts in pride! We want evidenced based facts not options .. Data gathering facts collecting …. Where is that

    • I totally agree with Nat. The divisive rhetoric needs to stop. It serves no good purpose at all. When I became a nurse over thirty years ago, our focus was on caring for our patients and treating them with compassion, love and respect no matter who they were or where they came from. I intend to continue to do that no matter who sits in the White House. I will not be governed by political hysterics.
      It would do Eileen Williamson well to put on some scrubs and get her hands dirty. It’s probably been awhile.

  4. I totally disagree with Nat’s comment. Ms. Williamson did not endorse Hillary Clinton. She spoke about the American Nurses Association’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton. Learn to recognize a bipartisan article, when you see one!

  5. I agree Nat. I voted for the candidate that I thought was going to do the best job not just for me but for the country. In my profession, I was taught to be honest, don’t deceive or lie to others and to do the best job that you can, and I just could not bring myself to vote for someone who is doing what I was taught was wrong. We need to give this President a chance and some RESPECT.

    • Verlena-
      Respect is something earned, not assumed, and Donald Trump has shown no respect for others throughout his contentious campaign and now nascent presidency. You were taught to be honest, to not deceive and lie to others and that’s admirable (please note this president’s deceptive and infantile take on crowd size and the popular vote since he took the oath).
      Trump is one of the most decisive and selfish individuals that our society has absorbed. At least Hillary, while I admit was a flawed candidate, had a positive message, not a dark ans decisive vision, and showed respect for most individuals. Trump has to earn respect. His insults and belittlement of others, those “so-called judges'” for example, is an on-going assault on decency and American values. Please review the video and stills from inaguaration day when he showed little respect for his own wife when he marched ahead of her, left her behind, and it was credit to the Obamas to bring her along. Notice who marches into the White House first. Without civility, manners and compromise, our country will will not survive.
      Sincerely,
      Sean, R.N.

  6. I am shocked by the comments I just read but not surprised based on what has happened in the last year during the campaigning. Eileen Williamson’s article is calling all nurses to come together to “promote national harmony and unity”. She was not taking sides with anyone but people are so ready to criticize (including me) and that is why I read her article several times along with all the comments several times.
    Someone wrote, “Facts please not opinions … Isn’t that what the nursing profession boasts in pride! We want evidenced based facts not options .. Data gathering facts collecting”. What does this have to do with this article? The article is calling all nurses to work together in support of our patients!
    But since you mentioned the FACTS, the current administration is making dangerous decisions without relying on the facts. I beg all of you to research all information you read before you make an opinion, comment or decision. Do not just read a headline or get your information from one news source. Read or listen to all of them.
    As for the comment, “majority of votes”, that is actually not true based on the facts. There was not a majority because neither candidate had over 50% of the total popular vote! — Hillary Clinton, 65,844,610 (48.2 percent)and Donald Trump, 62,979,636 (46.1 percent).
    Clinton had more votes than President Trump, but neither had the majority or 50 percent of the total popular vote.
    Carol writes, “people have lost their religious freedom under the last administration”? I would really like to see the facts there…..
    I rarely comment on anything but I am so frustrated. People vote based on party and basically don’t know anything about the candidate. Someone mentioned honesty!! What a joke! I have not heard one truth in the past few weeks only “alternative facts”. Someone also mentioned giving the new President a chance and RESPECT. Well RESPECT is earned and right now based on the laws that have been broken and the lack of RESPECT given to the constitution and the judicial system of our United States of America I do not think RESPECT as been earned yet.
    But since this article is about nurses, I support what Eileen Williamson, BSN, RN wrote and I will do my best to provide excellent nursing care to all people regardless of religion, race, economic status, sexual orientation, nationality and political affiliation.

  7. As nurses we have to accept and respect our patients and give the best and most compassionate care possible, putting aside our own personal biases and opinions. I would expect more of a bipartisan approach from the ANA, Democrat , Republican, or no party affiliation we all want to take care of our patients in best possible way. This is becoming next to impossible with staffing issues and the amount of time we have to spend on the computer rather than patient care. This article did nothing to help unite nurses. I agree with the previous comment that Eileen Williamson needs to put on some scrubs and get her hands dirty . I also agree with facts, evidence based , not opinions.

  8. The writer of this post was very much inclined to express her opinions and who she endorsed for POTUS. I’m glad this site is open to hearing differing opinions. Trump has made a position about decreasing the number of H1B visas (if you take the time to read through his lengthy immigration policy). I’m not sure whether he will follow-through with this–BUT–if he does, this is certainly something that could potentially help many newly graduating (American citizen) nurses who are often competing against H1B’s for jobs. I’ve heard story after story about nursing graduates in California who are losing their jobs to nurses that come from other countries–specifically, the Philippines. I firmly believe that nurses suffer from Leftist immigration policies and the facts and statistics are starting to confirm this.

    “For every two students that U.S. colleges graduate with STEM degrees, only one is hired into a STEM job.” Plunder and Deceit” 2015 book by Mark R. Levin, Pg 99–2nd paragraph

  9. Without life, there are no other issues. By definition of abortion, it “is the the termination of a life”. Science has long proven that at the moment of conception, it is a human life, a separate human life. This is why, Clinton, said that the unborn is not a “citizen” and has no rights. She avoided the word “human.” You can watch her say this on youtube. Well, why not throw in all immigrants, who are not citizens, should they have a right to live? You can also watch one of the presidential debates where Clinton speaks of supporting partial birth abortion. According to our Constitution and the Commandments of God, we call this “termination,” either murder or murder.” I am not referring to spontaneous miscarriages. Therefore, no human being has the right to terminate another human beings life, even if that human being is a women. I find it interesting that Ms. Willimason’s article mentions the women’s march in DC but not the March for Life, just one week later, and which, by the way, had much more people attend. Why??? OB’s carry some of the most expensive malpractice insurance. Why? Do they tend to get sued more than any other class of MD’s? Why is it that our courts will be in favor of the mom, not the OB who made and error, when it comes to an unborn human being – but – then have laws to terminate that unborn human being and call it women’s right to choose? Did you know, in the case of Roe vs Wade, “Norma McCorvey never wanted an abortion”, and never had an abortion and is now dedicating her life to overturning Roe vs Wade? …http://www.lifenews.com/2013/01/22/woman-behind-roe-v-wade-im-dedicating-my-life-to-overturning-it/ Do you know who Clinton really is? Check this out: http://www.dineshdsouza.com/movies/hillarys-america/. In closing, OPINIONS CAN KILL and do great injustice. We can not yell “fire” in a theatre. Nor should we. In my observation (not opinion) I see many of the news media inciting negative behavior such as the violent riots. The news media covered lots of the women’s march and riots but hardly covered the Prolife March. Why? The news media covered the riots of the inauguration but not the 5000 peaceful bikers who were pro-Trump. Why? We use to call this yellow journalism. But, according to Ms. Williamson, we should have our opinions. I do agree, though, that before we form an opinion, we should seek the TRUTH. What is really happening in America, today, and in the whole world, is much bigger than the president. Read the book of Revelations and research the TRUTH. It is time to choose.

  10. Yes, we are nurses. But, our first vocation is a child of God. Our second vocation is wife, then mom, and so forth. Our priorities to our ourselves and patients goes in that order. It is not about “me.” It’s about serving others. How can we be good nurses if we don’t even know who we are? How can we serve our patients with all respect and dignity but not consider everyone a human? Or, citizen? If we say nothing, then we are to blame. If we just have an uneducated opinion, then we are to blame. If, however, we have and educated opinion and take a stand, in good conscious, and fight for the truth, then, our patients will have a chance, too. Then, our jobs will have a chance, too. Then, our lives and other lives, will have a chance, too. When it comes to the laws of healthcare, all should have a chance. As it says in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It’s not an opinion, it’s the Law…of man and God. Consider those you think are heroes and heroins. Many lost their jobs, and even their lives, fighting for the truth. May we recognize God’s truth and may take a stand to fight for it…no matter the cost. This is what Jesus did for you: His life for yours.

  11. I am disgraced by all of the protests taking place in our country. Let us give our new President a chance like we have given each one before him.

    Im a woman and quite frankly, I am sick and tired of hearing about women’s rights.

  12. I don’t think a lot of people commenting read this post. It is very bipartisan and fair. The article is saying no matter what you believe or who you voted for, now is a time to put all of that behind us and come together for the good of our patients. The only divisive thing about this article is the comments. Many of you jumped to a conclusion without either reading or listening to what the writer was actually trying to say but instead immediately got defensive. This is why things are so divided in our country. No one is listening to anyone else and is way too quick to get offended.

  13. Stop politicizing our profession! This is exactly why the government should not be in control of healthcare. I love my profession and go above and beyond for my patients, making many sacrifices, both professionally and personally. However, healthcare is not a born right, it is a service provided by individuals. Healthcare professionals have worked hard and made many sacrifices for their career, only to be forced into government enslavement.

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