Women's stories #EmbraceEquity : The Nurse Practitioner

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Department: Editor's Memo

Women's stories #EmbraceEquity

Editor(s): Newland, Jamesetta A. PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, DPNAP, FAAN

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The Nurse Practitioner 48(3):p 5, March 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/01.NPR.0000000000000017
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March 8 every year marks the celebration of International Women's Day (IWD). The United Nations has adopted “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equity” as the 2023 theme.1 Empowering women through technologic knowledge, skills, and participation will hopefully facilitate greater equity in all areas of living. The hashtag suggested for use by partnering affiliations and countries around the world for IWD 2023 is #EmbraceEquity.2 Women are encouraged to snap a photo hugging yourself and post it to social media to increase awareness of the collective strength of women. In some countries, IWD is a national holiday to celebrate the achievements of women, advocate for gender equality, and support female-focused charities. In the US, the entire month of March is designated Women's History Month by the National Women's History Alliance (NWHA) with a 2023 theme “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” Throughout the year, the NWHA “will encourage recognition of women, past and present, who have been active in all forms of media and storytelling including print, radio, TV, stage, screen, blogs, podcasts, and more. The timely theme honors women in every community who have devoted their lives and talents to producing art, pursuing truth, and reflecting the human condition decade after decade.”3

Although the 20th century was a time when many advances were realized for women, too many women (and girls) worldwide are still denied rights to education, opportunity, and self-determination. You can find more information about 2023 projects and how you can participate on the IWD website. What woman or women do you celebrate?

A woman's voice for NPs

This March, I celebrate Dr. Loretta Ford, a woman who shaped the history of NPs in the US. We all know the general story; she is known and has been honored numerous times for her contributions, ultimately receiving the Surgeon General's Medallion for exceptional achievement in the cause of public health and medicine. If you ever had an opportunity to listen to Dr. Ford speak in person, you heard her tell amazing personal stories that were infused with spirit and fire, courage and mettle, and innovation and success. She has the gift of storytelling. She celebrated her 102nd birthday this past December. Known for occasionally wearing a Superman costume complete with the “S” shirt and red cape, she became a nurse whom physicians, administrators, legislators, the public, and other professionals and nurses could not ignore. Her legacy is written in healthcare and nursing history books; her voice will never be silenced. Women's History Month is a time to recognize NP leaders.

Women and children

I thank the authors who contributed to this month's special issue on pediatrics. Topics include breastfeeding, sudden cardiac death in the young, pediatric anxiety, blood lead levels, and a research study on vaccine hesitancy. New guidelines on breastfeeding emphasize using a patient-centered approach to increase awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and to promote equitable care. The baby formula shortage last year was a reminder that breastfeeding is an option. The evaluation and screening for cardiac disease is an important part of the preparticipation physical exam for an adolescent. Pediatric anxiety is a common behavioral health concern in primary care requiring parent and provider collaboration. Lowering the lab reference values for blood lead levels in children may lead to earlier identification of individuals and communities at risk for toxic exposures. The findings of an interventional study about vaccine hesitancy among pregnant women and mothers of newborns/infants provide relevant information to address present vaccine efforts. These topics also affect women who are mothers, so remember mothers around the world on IWD.

Tell your own story to uplift women everywhere. Take a photo hugging yourself and post it on social media using #EmbraceEquity.

Jamesetta A. Newland, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, DPNAP, FAAN

Editor-in-Chief [email protected]


1. UN Women. International Women's Day 2023: “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.” 2022. https://www.unwomen.org/en/news-stories/announcement/2022/12/international-womens-day-2023-digitall-innovation-and-technology-for-gender-equality.
2. International Women's Day. 2023. https://www.internationalwomensday.com/theme.
3. National Women's History Alliance. 2023. https://www.nationalwomenshistoryalliance.org/.
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