UW School of Nursing Plays A Lead Role in Launching Nursing Now USA

On Tuesday, April 9th at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, the UW School of Nursing along with the American Nurses Association, the US Public Health Service Chief Nurse, and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Nursing launched the Nursing Now USA initiative.

UW School of Nursing Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Butch de Castro, spoke at the Nursing Now USA launch.

This initiative is part of a global campaign that was launched in 2018 by the International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization with the intent on raising the profile and status of nurses worldwide. This social movement is based on the Triple Impact report that concluded that increasing the number of nurses and developing the nursing workforce will improve health, promote gender equality, and support economic growth. To date, more than seventy countries have embraced this initiative and are working to elevate the role of nurses across the world.

The Nursing Now USA initiative seeks to educate consumers, families, and communities on how nurses impact their health and well-being and to ensure nurses are positioned to drive changes that will improve health for all people. We want to raise the visibility of the nursing profession and showcase how nurses have evolved in the 21st century. Today, nurses are at the forefront of innovations in research, teaching, and care delivery that has a positive impact on the public.

UW School of Nursing alumna, Kelsey Hirsch, gave a call to action at the Nursing Now USA launch.

Nurses play a vital role in influencing and creating public policy that promotes and protects the health of all while advocating for conditions that support safe and healthy communities. Nurses are also fully engaged as leaders locally and globally in the delivery of care by constantly and consistently seeking improvements.

“Nursing is the largest of the health care professions, with more than 3.1 million registered nurses in the United States, so we have a significant and important responsibility to provide equitable access and quality health care to all populations,” stated Azita Emami, the Robert G. and Jean A. Reid endowed executive dean of the School of Nursing.  She stressed that nurses are well-positioned to be leaders in creating and implementing strategies to improve our nation’s health and well-being due to their ability to consider the physical, behavioral, nutritional, and environmental conditions of their patient’s experience.

During the public launch Butch de Castro, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the UW School of Nursing, encouraged everyone to be intentional in recruitment efforts and to do a better job in recruiting and supporting individuals from under-represented communities and marginalized identities. He stated, “If we are ever to achieve health equity for all, nursing – from the frontline workforce in hospital rooms to administrators in board rooms, and from educators in classrooms to researchers in labs – must better reflect the society it serves.”

Attendees of the launch pose with Nursing Now signs

Kelsey Hirsch, a recent Ph.D. graduate in Nurse Research from UW School of Nursing, provided the “Call to Action” during the launch. She encouraged everyone to sign up by going to the nursingnow.org website and signing the pledge to support the effort; to show up at events that are planned throughout the year at regional and national conferences; and to stand up for the nursing profession by speaking out about what nurses do and how things have advanced in the profession.

“I hope that through the Nursing Now initiative we can help the public to understand what the 21st century nurse is capable of and what we do – whether we are nurse researchers, educators, policy makers, or providing direct care; and no matter what gender identity, no matter what race or ethnicity or socioeconomic status – I want people to see how our profession has evolved,” remarked Hirsch.