written by Denetra Hampton
Science has consistently shown that healthy connections are good for us and social isolation is linked to earlier cognitive and physical decline and increased mortality. The United Nations predicts that the world population will increase by two billion people in 2050 with diversity leading the way.
The Aging & Changing Nursing Population
As the nursing population continues to age and demographics shift to a more urban scene, it is salient that leadership recognize the changing needs of our next generation. The changing stories of our new nurses are palpable and come with a fresh and new meaning for all. As nursing leadership begins to acknowledge the deeper pains of racism and its' effect on the future of nursing, more and more nurses of color take advantage of the opportunity to tell their stories. I believe this small step toward equity is going to impact the future story of nursing more than anything.
Meanwhile the burden of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cancer are killing people globally who are ill-prepared to handle them; a ripple effect that's affecting us all. The result of a history of inequitable story-telling that continues to divide our healthcare system.
Nursing Science vs. Innovation
Greater attention has been placed on innovation and technology throughout nursing and medicine, but I digress that the educational crisis at its' core is a teaching crisis. Nursing science in its' most basic template starts with what the teacher knows, and their willingness to unbosom their acquired knowledge through diverse pathways. In my 15-years of educating on many levels, nothing has convinced me more of our lack of innovational impact than the statement from a newly graduated nurse, " I have never heard of nursing science." Innovation is an integral part of our evolution, but no amount of technology will be able to replace who we are as a professional science and the stories we live out as humans. I stand firm on that.
In a recent report produced jointly by UNESCO, UNICEF, and the World Bank, they announce that The global disruption to education caused by the COVD-19 pandemic is without parallel and the effects on learning are severe. Furthermore, nothing speaks more clearly about how important the education of nursing and medicine is and will continue to be to our learning experience as a nation. It is critical that we continue to empower and raise the consciousness of nursing science and the contributions of all . Education is indeed a global strategy that connects us to the larger issues of the world. The gift that keeps on giving.
The Power of Authentic Story-telling
Without a doubt, story-telling has become the litmus test for how well we are doing as a business, organization or individual. How well we can live and tell a story can dictate the amount of influence and impact we make socially and professionally. And as I continue to uncover the untold stories of nursing and medicine I am reminded of how much we don't know and how this has impacted our state of healthcare. In addition, how we receive, restore and retain a more diverse workforce has been altered by our lack of authentic story-telling. A revelation for me indeed.
My Final Thoughts
As a producer of film I learned early on that our stories create unmeasurable impact.
As more and more people live longer lives the importance of cultivating spaces that house healthcare workers who are at their peak mentally and physically could never be articulated. The Covid-19 pandemic was the alarm. We were not prepared. No amount of webinars, panel discussions or groups developed will prepare us for the next time either. It will only happen with pure, unmitigated change from the top-down, sides, front to back and the black and white.
Everything we do becomes a part of our story. What story are you telling? What stories are you a part of?