I have a vision that has inspired me for years. It started in 2008 in Fresno California at a hospital where I worked, when several nurses and I ran our first half marathon.  Bold as it may be, I wish to see 100,000 nurses run in a major marathon someplace in this world.  And no, I didn’t just clicked sand lost my mind.

Nurses are the largest body of healthcare professionals and are able to bring about any changes we deem important to the forefront of healthcare.  So we believe.  Certainly, there are many times when we feel dis-empowered by hospital antics, rules, changes, and policies that oftentimes do not take into consideration our vote, as a whole, nor our opinions.

In certain parts of this country, for instance in the west, nurses have more say and more power because of union backing and support.  In other part of the country nurses are still governed under the g00d-’ole boy system and oftentimes feel powerless when it comes to contributing to change or making their voices heard on decisions impacting the profession.

Despite some of the negative reports we’ve heard and some isolated cases of misfortunes due to the practices of some individuals in the field, most nurses go into this profession meaning well and with the resolve to do no harm.  Many nurses, on a daily basis, have to handle a large amount of stress–sometimes on a minute by minute basis (on 8-12 hours shifts)–depending where they work.  The reality is, we do what we can.  We hold our heads up, and sometimes we hang our heads down, especially when we’ve done everything there is in our scope of practice to help keep a client alive, and nature took her own course.

Sometimes the nursing becomes too much for an individual to bear, and they leave the profession with their spirit dismantled and soul disheartened.  Nursing can consume your time (even when one is off duty), consume you (to the point of burn out), or change your life entirely.  Most of us love caring for people.  It is one of the major reason many have joined the profession.  Nursing is one of the greatest altruistic (self-less), caring, and empathetic profession there is that has alleviated much suffering through the use of our skills and the nursing process.  We have the power to be advocates for our clients and for ourselves.

Despite our concerted effort and the progress made in the profession, the door remains wide open with much work to be done in health promotion and disease prevention.  Here we have the unique opportunity to run hospitals, our communities, and run the world for this matter, of course, by taking ownership in the work we can to do in promoting wellness.  If we would unite with nurses in other parts of the country and the world, and tackle this great challenge, we could be a positive force when it comes to impacting the spread of diseases and diminishing the incidence of chronic illness–two issues that are putting great strain on healthcare almost everywhere.  We have the number, power, skills and a little more time than other professions to take on this cause.

Let’s meet at the table of disease prevention and health promotion!

OYE!  We’d like to invite you think about the possibility of running a 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon, or full marathon in the company and support of our comrades.  It could be the table where we meet to impact change, if only for a few days.  It would be an awesome sight, 100,000 nurses from all over the globe flooding the street and running in solidarity.  Okay, so that number may be too BIG to begin with (somebody has to care for the sick in hospitals and clinics), so how about 10,000 nurses (just about the size of the crowd running the 2011 Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco) to activate the process?  This could be a great start!  I think we can do this.  We can each participate at whatever level we are in our training, and run the world!  Just a thought. Here at Running Nurse, we are open to suggestions, opinions, and positive criticisms.  Feel free to drop us a note.