"Green Ribbon" symbol of Nursing Solidarity

  1. "Tie a green ribbon around the old oak tree. People are wearing green ribbons (the color of Brockton Hospital) and/or tying green ribbons around car antennas, trees and poles outside their homes and businesses in support of the Brockton Hospital Nurses." (who are on strike in case you didn't get it)

    I would like to suggest making the "green ribbon", (that the stiking Brockton,Massachusetts nurses have adopted), a grassroots movement by nurses nationwide. It would show nursing unity, support for striking nurses across the country, promote public awareness to the nursing crisis and generally just get us all feeling like we're doing 'something' instead of nothing.

    Sort of like the "pink" ribbon became the symbol of breast cancer awareness. We could make the "green" ribbon the symbol of "Nurses: our vital national resource in jeopardy"

    How about it fellow nurses? Put a green ribbon on your car, tree, coat, uniform. Then when someone asks you what it means, make them aware of the nursing crisis.

    [ May 28, 2001: Message edited by: PeggyOhio ]
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Great idea, Peggy! But I believe the green ribbon is already a symbol for organ donation.

    Maybe we could pick another color?

    Heather
  4. by   PeggyOhio
    Sheez! I was afraid of that Heather. I wasn't aware of the organ donation thing.

    Any suggestions?

    Maybe we could make it bi-color. What about green and white? Staying with the green that Brockton has started and adding white (nursing-white) for national unity. Is that too complicated?

    [ May 28, 2001: Message edited by: PeggyOhio ]
  5. by   -jt
    we used gold ribbons on Nurses Solidarity Day during a prior labor dispute - because nurses are worth their weight in solid gold.


    By noon, all of administrations were wearing green ribbons - the color of the money they were saving by laying off 650 employees & trying to force the RNs to do everyone elses jobs at the time.

    (btw, they failed)
  6. by   Doc
    Originally posted by -jt:
    <STRONG>we used gold ribbons on Nurses Solidarity Day during a prior labor dispute - because nurses are worth their weight in solid gold.
    </STRONG>
    jt, you are not saying that the lightweight ones aren't worth as much, are you? Seriously though, I think it's going to take a lot more than ribbons to settle a dispute. Not to mention that the hospital administrators can just use it to their advantage by appearing to the public to be on the nurses' side, as yours did.
  7. by   PeggyOhio
    Doc
    I agree it's going to take a lot more than ribbons. But the problem is getting nurses past this "hopelessness" that they can do anything to change the situation.

    Wearing a ribbon is easy, simple, and inexpensive. It could be a huge psychological boost to nurses to know that they were all standingtogether to "draw the line". And the way they could communicate that to each other and to administrations is by seeing each other with the symbol of national nurses unity.

    Seeing other nurses from other hospitals wearing it also would bring solidarity to nursing issues, and public awareness.

    For sure its going to "take a lot more than ribbons". But "a journey of a thousand miles beings with one step". We've got to get nurses to take the first step. That is to insist on being valued for the vital resource that we are.

    Wear a ribbon show the public we are "drawing the line".

    Lets stick with the green the Brockton nurses have chose.

    We can get green and gold ribbon, -jt to symbolize the value of nurses.
    Ribbon


    There will always be naysayer's let's "just do it" and take that first step.

    [ May 29, 2001: Message edited by: PeggyOhio ]
  8. by   -jt
    &lt;jt, you are not saying that the lightweight ones aren't worth as much, are you? &gt;

    : )


    btw, it was quite apparent to all that the managers were not on our side & that their reaction was more a counter-attack. The thing with the ribbons was that it prompted people to ask what they were for & that opened up the opportunity for us to tell them what was going on.

    I agree that if those nurses are using a green ribbon, and you want to show support for them, wear the same color ribbon & let the dialogue begin.
  9. by   Zee_RN
    I like the idea of a ribbon symbolizing nursing solidarity. Green ribbons, at least here in Pittsburgh, are already used by the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) for Donor Awareness.
  10. by   Doc
    Originally posted by PeggyOhio:
    <STRONG>Doc
    I agree it's going to take a lot more than ribbons. But the problem is getting nurses past this "hopelessness" that they can do anything to change the situation.
    </STRONG>
    Peggy, I agree we need to get past the hopelessness. For this purpose, wouldn't a pin shaped like handcuffs be a more appropriate symbol, since the health system has got us literally handcuffed? Perhaps more expensive, I agree, but very effective, and bound to get people asking what it's all about.

    It is a very small step, though. How many people actually ask you about the ribbon and how many tell other people about it? My suggestion is announce to the press you are about to launch this "silent campaign" and the more papers/tv channels/radio stations the better. This not only gives it good publicity, it makes it official. Then other hospitals catch on and.... a small campaign becomes a big one.

    Also, make sure you have a blurb ready on exactly what it is you are launching a campaign about. It's no good saying: "we want better working conditions". Both administration and the public need to know: "We are tired of working 12-16 hour shifts" or "getting payed less than a garbage removalist"...oops hygiene and sanitation engineer (political correctness)

    I guess what I'm saying is, if you want to empower nurses to do something, do it properly, otherwise pretty soon they will say, "what's the point - it doesn't achieve anything". Show them it does. Your basic idea is good, though. Keep it up!
  11. by   cargal
    Peggy,
    I love the idea of a ribbon campaign. Gold is a great choice-or how about white? Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you. Your sistas in Pa are ready to go! Thanks for keeping us going. I have a feeling that we will ignite because of your perserverence. After reading Jenny's posts re: the Minnesota strike, I am ready to do something to support them, therefore all nurses.
    Carrie
  12. by   -jt
    &lt;I am ready to do something to support them, therefore all nurses.&gt;


    A donation to their strike funds is a good way we can start......


    ohio nurses strike http://www.ohnurses.org

    minnesota nurses strike http://www.mnnurses.org
  13. by   Chellyse66
    Hey Peggy I like your enthusiasm.
    I think ribbons are overdone a bit.
    Hey I got it why don't we all take a 1 dollar bill and pin it to our uniforms, if we walked around with money pinned to the front of our chest everyone would take notice.
    I just bet with the great minds here we could come up with many good arguments why the almighty dollar could be used for symbolism, both because we need more of it and the greed of it has so obviously corrupted the system!!!
    Any takers?
    P.S. As an added bonus when we take them off or they get old we can donate them to the cause.
    As long as we wear it we are not defacing it, just do not write on it LOL
    And the color is Green.

    [ May 31, 2001: Message edited by: Chellyse66 ]
  14. by   PeggyOhio
    Hi Michele,
    I haven't gotten back to this topic because I've been flat on my back really sick the last few days.
    I see your point about ribbons being overdone. With every organization seeming to have one.
    While "industry greed" is a big part of the problem in health care these days, I think nurses wearing dollar bills could be misinterperated, and backfire sending the wrong message, with nurses seen as the one's interested in money.

    I suggested the ribbon be adopted nationally for several reasons:
    1. Brockton nurses started it. So it is already out.
    2. It would show solidarity with them and eventually hopefully all nurses across the nation.
    3. It has high visablility in the community at large. As you can wear it, put it on your car antenna. Your front door. Mailbox. Trees. etc.
    4. It's simple and inexpensive.

    That last thing I want is for this to dissolve into an endless debate about why one or the other is a better symbol, or this or that color would be better. And have nothing accomplished. Lets "JUST DO IT"

    Unfortunately we do not have one voice that we will all listen to and follow.

    So my one little voice is suggesting this: we adopt "WHITE" as the color of our grassroots nurse awareness campaign. And we show solidarity with the Brockton Mass ribbon campaign by adding "GREEN" and carry it forward!

    I propose we use the Brockton "GREEN" ro show solidarity with them and combine it with "WHITE" to symbolize nursing nationally . Other communities might use a different color and could combine it with white. So far I haven't heard that Youngstown or Minnesota have started any ribbon campaign. But suppose they do and they choose a different color. They could freely choose whatever color and add it to white for National Nurses Unity.

    So for example you have a big tree in your front yard, and you tie the green and white ribbon on it, or on you car antenna. And your neighbor asks you "what is that for" you can explain it is a grassroots public awareness campaign of nurses nationwide trying to bring attention to their concerns.
    The white is for national nurses, the green is for the strinking nurses of Brockton. Then if Minnesota starts a different color you could add that color, always having "WHITE" as the base color.
    Then as these strikes are resolved we could remove the color that symbolized that dispute but leave the white remaining until Federal legislation is passed to ban mandatory overtime.
    Does that sound too complicated? (Maybe it's the fever) I gotta go lay down.
    SOLIDARITY FOR NURSES!

    [ May 31, 2001: Message edited by: PeggyOhio ]

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