Q&A with James White on the importance of nurses

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James White
HIV/AIDS and Clinical Advisor, SHOPS Plus

Nurses are the backbone of every healthcare system around the world, and today they are needed more than ever.

We sat down (virtually) with our very own nurse, James White, and asked him few questions.

James White is the HIV/AIDS and Clinical Advisor for the SHOPS Plus project. He is a registered pediatric nurse and clinical service delivery specialist with over 15 years of experience in delivering HIV and AIDS, maternal and child health, and social welfare programs.

SHOPS Plus: What keeps you inspired about nursing?

James White: What inspires me today about nursing is the same as what attracted me to the profession over 20 years ago. At the heart of our profession is the desire to protect the vulnerable and comfort the sick. Diseases cannot always be cured, problems cannot always be solved, but the human-focused nature of nursing will always seek future solutions while emphasizing compassion and care for those who need it today. This is what continues to make me proud to come from the nursing discipline and inspired to bring those ideals into my work.

SP: In your role as a nurse, how have things changed over the past several years?

JW: I would say the two major changes have been 1) technology, which has revolutionized our profession in immeasurable ways, both positive and negative; and 2) the invaluable role of nurses as the backbone of health systems and the need for their voices in public health is becoming increasingly clear to stakeholders.

SP: How would you like to see your profession change in the future?

JW: From the early beginnings of our profession we have been humanitarians, not just clinicians. I would like to see nurses and the profession embrace this again—championing our role in the numerous contexts where it is needed. As the world faces increasingly uncertain futures and health outcomes the nursing approach is needed more than ever.

White is the author of a forthcoming publication on health systems resilience.

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Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus is a five-year cooperative agreement (AID-OAA-A-15-00067) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This website is made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID. The information provided on this website is not official U.S. government information and does not represent the views or positions of USAID or the U.S. government.

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