The challenge of conservative nurses Vs


Discussing workplace politics is not always a great topic of conversation. We mothers are warned (early on) that it is not polite to talk about religion, finances or politics with our friends, neighbors or anyone else on the subject. We were told that it was not particularly appropriate to discuss these taboo topics at the dinner table, during social events, or God forbid … in church or at meetings with the opposite sex. So when is everything okay? Personally, it’s probably a good idea to discuss your political views with a future partner.

It may (or may not) make a difference … especially if you’re on opposite sides of the fence. This could potentially become a problem for some people. I have friends who say they could never settle a relationship with someone significant who didn’t have the same exact beliefs as them … whether it’s religion, money, or who the mayoral candidate would vote for! Personally, I like it a little “back and forth” until it gets overheated, and really … why should it? As for the job, my mother never mentioned it. She was homegrown and probably thought I would spend my life there too. She was wrong. As much as I love my home and family, I also love my sister’s career. I wouldn’t be what I am if it weren’t for my experience in the nursing profession. I have learned to care for patients from every lifetime and to respect our differences. I have also had the pleasure of working with many nurses throughout my career.

I have to admit that we had as many different personalities, miracles, and personal beliefs as our patients. So why do conservative beliefs versus liberal beliefs in the nursing profession seem to separate the two groups so broadly? I guess the sister unions are more liberal. Nurses usually belong to unions. Enough said … but not really. I am a member of the nurses union although I consider myself conservative because of my religious beliefs. There are certain personal laws that I hold dear in my heart; laws that cannot be ethically compromised. I can appreciate and understand that other sisters may feel different than I do. Some examples that lead to differences of opinion range from helping to terminate a pregnancy to voting for a “public option” health plan. As I was working one evening shift as a nurse in a hospital unit, I had to intervene between two nurses engaged in an argument.

The two voiced loudly different views regarding the current political campaign. They both wore the buttons of their favorite candidate (opponents in the race) which was obviously inappropriate for the care of the unit. I asked them to remove their “walking commercials” which then caused me to be a major part of their anger until the end of the shift. The next day, political winds blew as most of them eventually did. The storms don’t last. Recently, nurses gathered in the state of Minnesota to vote on a new contract that number one called “Safe Staff for Patient Safety.” Over ninety percent of the 12,000 RNs in the state voted for a one-day strike when hospitals failed to negotiate.

It was the largest sisters ’strike in U.S. history. Negotiations on the treaty and another vote to ratify the new treaty eventually prevented a longer strike, but it was a perfect example of nurses who, through both political lines, came together in something everyone passionately believed in. At this point, they continue to work together to ensure patient safety. They are committed to the cause. Nurses are amazing, caring professionals, if I say so too! We may have personal beliefs that are sometimes opposite to each other, but history has shown that, despite these differences, we have many similar goals in life. We all strive for health, happiness and security for ourselves, our families and our patients. Politics or not politics, nurses are nurses. Our mothers would be proud!