About The Project

Unifying Nurses, History, & Tech to Change the Nursing Narrative

The Idea

Our modern, connected lives keep us in a perpetual state of both active and passive learning. We scroll, seek, search, click, and consume everything from social media posts, headlines, formal media, talking points, and information from morning to night.

We wanted to leverage this hyper-connected, information-state to our advantage and meet nurses and nurse allies, right where they are — scrolling online.

Nurse informaticists and human centered designers say: “Make the right thing the easy thing.” Easy as in making information easily accessible, findable, and lowering barriers to entry. In the midst of a pandemic and era of extreme nursing exhaustion and burnout, we did not want to add “learning nursing history” as one more thing on any nurses’ “to do” list, but to deliver it in accessible and digestible pieces for nurses to happen upon in their digital lives.

The Framework

Four foundational frameworks were used in the development of this project:

The Goals

  1. Make the impact of nurses of color more widely known. Develop an online, mobile friendly, sourced, and shareable library that aggregates stories of nurses of color and eliminates a barrier to learn nursing history by needing access to academic databases, scholarly journals, or locating archived blog sites.
  2. Create an online space where nurses of color can see themselves and the historic and present day contributions that have shaped the nursing profession and advanced patient care since the profession’s founding.
  3. The act of sharing the stories of nurses of color inextricably reveals the role white nurses and white nursing leadership have in the welfare of nurses and patients of color. There are those who served as change agents to integrate, support, hire, and work in partnership for the inclusion and advancement of nurses of color; those who remained silent and reinforced the status quo; and those who chose to sustain discrimination and add barriers to the profession against fellow nurses. These historical archetypes are challenging to learn and face for both individual nurses and the nursing profession at large, but they provide a meaningful and constructive mirror to reflect how these same roles continue to play out today.
  4. Nursing is capable of both progress and healing. By promoting and disseminating our accurate history, and including tools and resources to learn more or take action, we strive to better equip and prepare all nurses to work towards professional equity.
  5. Empower nurses, nursing students, educators, academic institutions, nurse allies, and nursing and healthcare organizations across the healthcare spectrum to normalize and reiterate the contributions of past and present day nurses of color. Writing in plain language makes the stories of nurses of color accessible to all education levels as well as the broader public at large.
  6. Amplify and link to the work and research that is already being done in nursing history.
  7. Foster collective interest to advance the need for an inclusive nursing history to be incorporated as part of nursing curriculum.

This work requires all hands on deck. Join us to further this volunteer project.

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Joanna Seltzer

Joanna Seltzer

Driven by dynamic collaborations that improve human-centered healthcare design and nudge the status quo.