(Pittsburgh, PA) June 1, 2020. The global pandemic of the coronavirus has fundamentally changed society. The overwhelming lack of access to care and treatment for people of color across the United States became immediately apparent. The increased public health restrictions meant to curtail the spread of COVID-19 have substantially intensified anxiety levels for all Americans. As recent events have again shown, racism is an insidious disease that affects all aspects of American life. ONS calls for all of us to commit to an end to hatred, discrimination, and racism in every form.
As oncology nurses, we know the disparities in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Cancer is a global disease, and the fight against it is being waged every minute of every day in health systems around the world. Oncology nurses are at the forefront of this battle, delivering care, carrying out clinical trials, and advancing evidence-based research. We act without regard to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or nationality and advocate for those underserved by the healthcare system.
One of the pillars of the nursing profession is "advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public." ONS joins those in the healthcare arena who are demanding the immediate cessation to violence and bias inherent in too many civic institutions. In this the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, and as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, remember her words, "rather, ten times, die in the surf, heralding the way to a new world, than stand idly on the shore." ONS is inspired by this sentiment and will continue to advocate for freedom from bias and access to healthcare for all.