In response to an executive order issued late last week by newly inaugurated President Donald Trump, nurses and nursing groups have started speaking up online to oppose a travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries. Nurses understand the important role that foreign-born healthcare providers serve in treating isolated and vulnerable populations. Their contributions to the field of nursing are immensely valuable to hospitals and other healthcare facilities, university nursing and research programs, and their patients.

Trump’s controversial executive order titled ‘Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States’ issued a 90-day ban on the entry of people from seven Muslim-majority countries including Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen; a 120-day hold on refugees entering the US; and an indefinite hold on Syrian refugees.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) was quick to issue a statement opposing the “unfair #MuslimBan” and taking a stance to stay committed to social justice as outlined in their Code of Ethics. ANA President Pamela Cipriano, PhD, RN, FAAN, issued the following statement to Twitter on Tuesday: “ANA OPPOSES ANY ACTION THAT ERODES HUMAN RIGHTS & strives to protect & preserve the rights of vulnerable groups such as the poor, homeless, elderly, mentally ill, prisoners, refugees, women, children, and socially stigmatized groups.” You can read her full statement here.

ANA CEO Marla Weston, PhD, RN, FAAN, also addressed nurses’ roles in listening to opposition and facilitating productive ways to move forward after attending President Trump’s Inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington. Weston believes that, “Nurses are uniquely prepared to generate the important discussions we need to have as a nation. We are skilled, respectful, and trusted listeners – even when faced with people who have widely differing points of view.”

The nursing group NurseManifest took a stance on the travel ban by publishing a “Nurses Declaration of Solidarity and Resistance” earlier this week outlining their beliefs and how they feel that the travel ban infringes on the health and well-being of Americans. Their declaration opens with this:

“The 2017 US Executive Branch is taking steps that will have an effect on the health and well-being of all who reside within the borders of the United States, and of all people worldwide. At this moment in history, we call upon nurses to stand together, act to resist that which harms health and well-being, protect those who are harmed, and build coalitions that move toward the ideals we seek.”

Carey S. Clark, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, RYT, an administrator for NurseManifest, was kind enough to share her personal and professional thoughts on the travel ban. Like many university professors and administrators who have openly opposed the travel ban, Clark says, “I work with nursing students in the University setting, and many of the professors I work with from all disciplines are concerned about this impacting our students…I remain committed to supporting all of my students in successful completion of their studies.”

As to her thoughts on how nurses can fight back both professionally and in their personal time, Clark offers the following sentiments: “We are hopeful that our Nurse Manifest Declaration of Solidarity and Resistance helps to create a large community of like-minded nurses to work together in uniting against these kinds of discriminatory policies. Additionally, taking action such as calling our congressional representatives and uniting through attending protests, signing petitions, and taking local action through the development of networks and coalitions is key during this challenging time.”

NurseManifest is collecting signatures in support of their declaration which is being updated regularly. The list currently exceeds 550 nurses.

If you or any nurses you know have been affected by the travel ban, please send your stories to editor@dailynurse.com or news@dailynurse.com.

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