National RNs to Newt: ‘We Know Nurses, You are Not a Nurse;’ Largest RN Organization on Gingrich

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–December 16, 2011. The nation’s largest organization of registered nurses ridiculed Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s attempts to excuse his ethics violations and callous treatment of his wives because he was feeling the same exhaustion experienced by many nurses.

“I know nurses. I work with nurses every day. You, Mr. Gingrich, are not a nurse,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director the 170,000 member National Nurses United, a non-partisan organization of the 99 percent which has not endorsed any candidate for President.

“I’m exhausted 80% of the time,” Karen Higgins, RN, NNU co-president and an intensive care nurse told Talking Points Memo. “I would never turn around and say my bad behavior is excused because I’m exhausted.”

 “Of course nurses are exhausted after a long shift of taking care of our patients, but it is incredibly offensive for Newt Gingrich to suggest that we would ever use that as an excuse to hurt our families or break the law,” said Deb Nault, RN, associate executive director for Nursing Practice at the Michigan Nurses Association.

“There’s a reason that nurses are voted the most honest and ethical professionals in the country, year after year. It’s no surprise that members of Congress are at the very bottom, with politicians like Newt Gingrich trying to present themselves as something they’re not and refusing to accept responsibility for their behavior. My fellow nurses and I have a message for Mr. Gingrich: Take care of your own dirty laundry and leave us out of it,” Nault said.

“The essence of nursing is compassion, caring for others, and community,” said DeMoro. “There is absolutely nothing in Newt Gingrich’s reprehensible and brutish personal behavior that suggests any traits that personify the nursing profession. In fact, when Gingrich abandoned his wife while she was in a hospital bed with cancer, it was nurses who were taking care of her.”

Many of Gingrich’s political stances today, “continue to represent the antithesis of what it means to be a nurse, such as his idea to turn back the clock 100 years with child labor. Nurses have fought to improve social conditions for everyone, not return our children to backbreaking labor.”


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