As pride month comes to a close, it’s only right that we recognize the nurses who are making the world safer and helping to provide essential care for LGBTQ Americans.
As Executive Director of @NationalNurses Bonnie Castillo put it in her 2019 blog post, “As registered nurses, our profession is built on a foundation of non-discrimination. RNs are duty-bound to advocate for all people, assessing what patients need to achieve and maintain good health — including respect for their identity.”
On Castillo’s blog, she highlighted numerous nurses who have been doing the work to treat the most vulnerable with dignity and while affirming their own identity, including registered nurse Christina Granucci, of northern California.
Granucci, whose oldest child is transgender, works as a first-aid staff at the Laurel Foundation’s camp for transgender youth.
“We all became nurses because we want to help,” she told Castillo. “Nurses see people as holistic human beings. Whatever is going on with you, if you need support or help or care, nurses are there.”
Operation Happy Nurse highlighted some amazing queer nurses who are making powerful waves in their own communities.
There’s T. Rae (she/her) an RN of eight years who founded the Instagram account @queernurses. Rae works as a Utilization Review Coordinator in Behavioral Health, ensuring their clinics, hospitals, and contracted organizations are providing services that are in compliance with county, state, and federal regulations.
A few years back she started a weekly photo series called the “Queer Visibility in Healthcare” project where she highlighted LGBTQ to send the message that “we are here and making a difference in the world.”
There’s also Clare Madrigal (she/her/hers), who has been an emergency department nurse for over 14 years. On top of her day job, Madrigal is also the LGBTQ+ Resource Nurse for Sibley Hospital of Johns Hopkins Medicine, where she provides LGBTQ+ education to staff, outreach to the community, and advocacy for patients as well as staff.
Madigral is also the owner and founder of @REACH_RainbowEducation, a consulting company that helps healthcare providers, private practices and organizations on how to be accepting and supportive of the LGBTQ+ community.
“The LGBTQ+ community are not just patients, we are nurses, doctors and professionals of all kinds,” Madigral said. “I hope that my visibility can show younger queer folks that you can be out, in a healthy relationship, and a professional doing what you love.”
As the rights of LGBTQ+ folks across the United States hang in the balance, nurses will continue to create a safe haven in health care for people of all backgrounds, genders and sexual orientations.
“The month of June is a time to celebrate pride, but nurses will honor and advocate for the health and safety of our LGBTQ+ communities each and every day,” Castillo said. “Sometimes that nurse advocacy means marching by our LGBTQ+ patients’ sides — other times, it means making lightning-fast decisions to save their lives.