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Vanessa Shields-Haas can be reached on Twitter @Radical_Nurses or on Instagram @radical_nurses. Most days you can find Vanessa sitting at her desk studying to be a family nurse practitioner and planning the healthcare revolution. Her background as a graduate student at the largest and oldest peace studies program in the world, the University of Bradford, United Kingdom, set the groundwork for a lifetime of changemaking, peacemaking, and troublemaking. With a recognition that preventable conditions like heart disease kill more Americans than terrorism, Vanessa did a complete life change and went from international affairs analyst to nursing professional.
Nurses have an incredibly advantageous mix of public respect, professional competencies, and scientific knowledge to spearhead real and lasting change in our country from topics ranging from gun control to universal healthcare access. Vanessa believes nurses, as one of the largest groups of professionals in the country, have a powerful, but as yet untapped, voice.
Inspired by John Lewis, Vanessa vows to get into good and necessary trouble for as long as she’s able. She shares her life with her amazing wife and three adorable rescue animals. Her dream is to be a radical primary care provider, professor, and writer, while also operating a small farm full of dogs, bees, chickens, and beautiful fruits and veggies.
You can follow Jess Dillard-Wright on Twitter @radicalnurses or on Facebook. Or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. When she is not fomenting revolution, you’ll find Jess hanging out with her three kids and partner (aren’t they adorable?). Together, they like to go to the beach, play silly games
(Bears vs. Babies, anyone?), read books, and try to bake amazing things. Other times, you’ll find Jess hard at work, raising up the next generation of nurses as a nurse academic. She is working on her Ph.D., which is a historical account of feminism and nursing, a history of the present looking at the tensions inherent in professional nursing and political activism, focused on Cassandra Radical Feminist Nurses Network.
Jess believes that nursing is the future of healthcare. And that healthcare extends far beyond the confines of the acute care setting. The largest constituent of the healthcare system, nurses collectively have a powerful voice and untapped potential for action. Because – to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr. – inequality in healthcare is the gravest injustice of all, Jess is committed to dismantling white cis heteropatriarchy in healthcare (and beyond) through critical engagement and ongoing activism. It goes without saying that Jess’s outspoken opinions are her own.