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|ACNL in Action|
ACNL in Action
Statement from President Anitra Williams
By: Anitra Williams, DNP, RN, HACP, CCRN
Like many of you, we are distressed, devastated, and heartbroken at the murder of George Floyd and the atmosphere of hate and division that seems only to be growing on a daily basis in our country. Racism, and that is what this is, is tearing apart the fabric of our civic, cultural, and spiritual lives. We were all prepared to stand at the forefront of fighting COVID-19, a pandemic the likes of which has not been seen in our lifetime, but now we are also faced with fighting other viruses—viruses of exclusion, violence, and hatred—and we are angry, weary, and profoundly sad.
Recent events have highlighted the significant contribution and tremendous need for nurses. We are facing many stressful activities from protest around racial injustice, to our current pandemic and economic uncertainty. As such, I’m reminded of the ethical and professional standards that guide our practice, and the need to ensure that all nurses remember those foundational elements that determine how we conduct ourselves and how we practice nursing.
The ANA Code of Ethics outlines that we are to “advocate for and protect the rights, health, and safety of patients” (provision 3). In addition, we are to “collaborate with other health professionals and the public to protect human rights, promote health diplomacy, and reduce health disparities” (provision 8).
It is our responsibility during these turbulent times to do all that we can to care for those who are affected with coronavirus as well as other illnesses, and we are also responsible for protecting the dignity and human rights of each individual in our respective communities, not only as a group but as individuals who place "RN" behind our names. As the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Thank you for your commitment to the profession and to the ethical principles on which our profession is based. Be safe and be blessed.