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Posts tagged ‘Patricia Butterfield’

Emancipatory Policies for Environmental Health


Our current featured article addresses one of the most pressing issues of our time – environmental health.  The article is titled “Environmental Health: Advancing Emancipatory Policies for the Common Good,” authored by Sarah K. Valentine-Maher, MSN, RN,

Sarah Valentine-Maher

FNP; Patricia G. Butterfield, PhD, RN, FAAN; and Gary Laustsen, PhD, RN, FNP, FAANP, FAAN.  The article is available at no cost while it is featured on the ANS website.  Authors Valentine-Maher and Butterfield  talk about their work in this video we recorded for ANS blog followers; we welcome your comments below!

Message from Sarah Valentine-Maher:

Nurses hold a great potential to improve human wellbeing by addressing the environment that determines health.  Many of us will recognize this ethos within nursing. Yet, our potential to address one of the major determinants of health, the integrity of the natural environment, is not yet actualized.  In the article “Environmental Health: Advancing Emancipatory Policies for the Common Good” we point towards a way forward. Overviews of contextual issues and specific environmental concerns are paired with recommendations for nurses’ actions.

The discussion in the video posted here touches on an overview of the paper as well as the themes of; ‘why nursing and environmental health’ and the emancipatory implications of such work.

Upstream Courage, Upstream Action


In the next few days, the first issue of the 40th volume of ANS will be published.  This issue will feature articles submitted in response to the issue topic “ANS Retrospective.” The first article we are featuring is authored by Patricia G. Butterfield, PhD, RN, FAAN, titled “Thinking Upstream: A 25-Year Retrospective and Conceptual Model Aimed at Reducing Health Inequities.”  Dr. Butterfield’s message for this blog affirms the commitment established from the founding of the journal – to publish cutting-edge scholarship that challenges the status quo and brings to the forefront issues that call forth critical examination and discussion. The timing of this 40th anniversary volume, remarkably, occurs concurrently with a new political climate in the U.S. that has prompted large-scale citizen action based on fundamental values. I am deeply grateful to Dr. Butterfield, and to a host of other ANS authors, who have contributed to shaping the very nature of this journal, and continue to do so as we embark on another decade!  Her article is currently available “Published Ahead-of-Print;” once the forthcoming issue is published the article will be featured. Watch for the announcement of the release of this issue, and return to the ANS website where the article will be available for download at no cost. Here is Dr. Butterfield’s message:

ANS was quite influential in my professional formation as a scholar and thinker.  As a doctoral student, I would go to the library, sneak my coffee into my book bag, seek out the newest issue of ANS, and find just the right hiding place (typically a carrel in the old stacks) to read.  What a treat it was.  Even the colors of the ANS jacket (green/blue) seemed right to me.  It wasn’t until many years later that I understood what drew me so much to the journal.  It wasn’t always the topics that drew me in; rather it was the journal’s sense of courage.  The fierceness of the articles.  The way ANS

Patricia Butterfield

Patricia Butterfield

authors dissected the subtext of a health problem, striking clearly and powerfully at the essence of an issue.  Poverty, marginalization, and social justice were (and are) key themes in ANS.  That’s why, many years ago, when it came time to submit my Thinking Upstream manuscript for publication consideration, ANS was my only real choice.  Since 1990 (when Upstream was published) the world…and the journal…has changed.  Health reforms (of lack thereof) have come and gone, but through the years and decades, ANS has retained its voice…and its sense of courage.

I’m reminded of how ANS made me feel as well as how it made me think because of the courage I have witnessed in recent days.  Courage, in the form of peaceful assembly, social commentary, and religious- and secular-based grassroots organizing, is a hallmark of our national identity. Whether it was the Women’s March on Washington, the spontaneous assembly of citizens in response to the president’s Executive Order addressing immigration, or scientists’ push back in response to attempts to remove climate change materials from the EPA website, I have seen courage. Many of the voices are coming from our new generations, bringing forth a level of candor and courage that our nation has not seen for many years.

This coming issue of ANS will feature a new paper I wrote…a 25-year retrospective on Thinking Upstream.  The key tenets of the new paper are the same as the original manuscript….that no matter how much money and talent we invest, our nation will not become healthy until we act upstream to address the roots of health.  We have surpassed the limits of what healthcare alone can do; saving lives requires our willingness to dig into the real issues that tap human potential.  This is a time for upstream courage and upstream action.  And from what I have seen the past few weeks, there is plenty of it to go around.

Nursing and the Environment


Valentine’s Day edit: Here is a link to narrated slides from the presentation I gave last week. Redefining the Metalanguage of Nursing Presentation

“Lost Souls” by Richard Cowling ~ 2002 NurseManifest Research Study

I just watched the film “The Politics of Caring” featured on the nursemanifest.com website and oh, does it make some powerful statements about politics in nursing that are still relevant today! A core messages in the film is the importance of improving hospital working conditions, both for the nurses, and for the safety and health of patients. Growing out of my involvement in the NurseManifest Project, much of my current work directly focuses on research about the nursing work environment, including nurse staffing and management practices.

One of the defining moments of my nursing education was learning about the concept of “Upstream Thinking” in my senior year Community & Public Health Nursing course. We learned about John Snow’s classic work on the London Cholera epidemic of 1854 and read Patricia Butterfield’s seminal “Thinking Upstream” article (Adv Nurs Sci 1990;12(2):1-8) that challenged nurses to think beyond one-to-one caring relationships and embrace the social, environmental and political determinants of health. This was reinforced the following year in my graduate nursing theory course, with the addition of Butterfield’s then new paper, “Upstream Reflections on Environmental Health” (Adv Nurs Sci 2002;25(1):32-49). While nursing education programs are working to integrate new content in (epi)genetics, (epi)genomics and environmental health it is more important than ever to emphasize the interconnectedness (or integrality) of human beings (including nurses!) and the environment.

The macro-level and micro-level ways that human beings, including nurses, are interconnected with their environment and each other will be the main focus of a free webinar/seminar that I’m giving next week and hope you will be able to attend. The presentation is titled Redefining the Metalanguage of Nursing Science: Contemporary Underpinnings for Innovation in Research, Education and Practice and will be on Wednesday, Feb 8, 2012 (12-1:30 EST) at the University of Pennsylvania, Barbara Bates Center for the Study of Nursing History. This presentation will utilize images and narrative to explore the ideas presented in my new paper, The Integrality of Situated Caring in Nursing and the Environment, currently featured on the Advances in Nursing Science website.

To register for the webinar: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/210662026

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