Sustaining Visibility: Environment, Perception, and Equity

      Being visible, or the state of being seen by another person, is dependent upon two main factors. The first is the environment through which the object or person is being viewed, and the second is the ability of the viewer to perceive and acknowledge the object or person's presence. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the visibility of nurses was perhaps never clearer. The media depicted powerful imagery of nurses on the frontlines, reinforcing the impact of the profession. The environment that nurses and other health professionals found themselves in allowed them to step into the forefront of the public eye amid mass anxiety, uncertainty, and frustration. The public saw them and reinforced their visibility. As the environment changes— more are vaccinated and the focus is shifting to recovery as opposed to crisis— we must consider how to sustain and amplify the profession's visibility. Nursing science, innovation, and leadership do not suddenly dissipate because we find ourselves in a new normal. With the reality that the environment has changed, we must ensure that the perception and acknowledgment are maintained.
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