By Kimberly Baltzell and Stella Bialous
We just celebrated Veteran’s Day on a date marking the close of World War I. Today we are fighting a different war, the war on SARS-CoV-2, which is destroying lives at a rate that rivals some of the greatest conflicts in history. Global unity and collaboration are required to solve this conflict, as well. Those aims can only be achieved when those in meaningful positions of power recognize those whose research, experience and leadership give them real insight into COVID-19.
Among the Veterans we celebrate are nurses, many of whom have lost their lives in service to the country. Similarly, in the fight against COVID-19, nurses are on the front lines. Their ranks have been significantly impacted by COVID-related disease and death.
When we look back on this unprecedented time in history, there will be many heroes. Nurses will surely be at the top of list. Nurses are responsible for restoring many patients back to health and sitting with others in their final hours when no one else could. Nurses are providing care and developing testing and tracing programs. Among the professionals most trusted by the American public, nurses also play a significant role in educating the public about COVID.
The President- and Vice President-Elect are assembling a team of experts to lead a unified response to the pandemic. The team consists of brilliant scientists, physicians, and public health officials. But notably absent are nursing voices.
We can’t conquer this pandemic without the vision of the nurses at the front line. There are many of us who are ready, willing, and highly qualified to contribute to the work of the incoming administration’s COVID transition team. Our work and research are based on perpetuating peace through good will and mutual understanding – at the patient, community and policy levels.
President-Elect Biden, get in touch! We are ready to serve. Meanwhile, we will continue to lead progress at the bedside and beyond.