Health Disparities: What Can Nursing Do?
Smith, G. R.
Smith, G. R. (2007) Health Disparities: What Can Nursing Do? Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice, 8 (4). pp. 285-291.
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Health disparities result from lack of caring within the society. Central to nursing, caring makes the profession best suited for leadership in reducing disparities. Nursing is losing its capacity for caring. Nursing's progress in gaining status has alienated it from the needs of other oppressed groups. It has also been seduced by the scientific model and does not always use its best judgment of truths about human suffering. Research has identified unequal treatment, discrimination, workplace and social status, income inequality, and policy decisions to deplete resources as social and economic determinants of health. All involve relationships. Nursing is the profession for which relationships are primary. Nursing can rebuild the capacity for caring and social and relational practice through transforming nursing education on the principle of mutuality. Nursing can also promote nurse-managed primary care and focus on changing local, state, and national policies to increase access, equity, and health protection.