Wow, thanks for the discussion.
Here is what Suzzane Gorden has to say about her poem:
In 2001, out of a sense of frustration and even outrage the persistent devaluation of nursing, I sat down to write "Just a Nurse." Since I began writing about nursing more than 20 years ago I've heard the phrase "I'm just a nurse," over and over again. It's almost always followed by an explanatory comment like:
"I'm not an expert on health care, so how can I voice my opinions?"
" If I do express my views, no one will listen to me anyway."
"Who am I to make my concerns known?"
What made me even more alarmed was hearing nurses "just a nurse" each other. For example, all too often Nurse Practitioners or other Advanced Practice Nurses would tell me that they never wanted anyone to think that they were, God forbid, 'just a nurse. "
After hearing this phrase for years, I sat down and wrote "Just a Nurse." I conceived "Just a Nurse" not as a poem, but as a recruitment campaign for nursing. It was reproduced in the book I wrote with my colleague Bernice Buresh From Silence to Voice. I usually read it at the end of most of my lectures. It's become so popular that I decided to make a poster of it.
A lot of people have said that they appreciate the poster and poem. Mary Tonges, Vice President of Patient Care Services at the University of North Carolina Medical Center told me my favorite story. She was talking to a nurse who came out with "Hey I'm just a nurse, and she responded, "no you aren't" and gave her the poster. I hope you can find it of use as well.