The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing applauds Kaci Hickox, the nurse who was recently placed under and then released from mandatory quarantine in New Jersey after returning from treating patients in Sierra Leone.
A 2011 graduate of our school, she epitomizes a Hopkins nurse. Our school has a long history of preparing graduates who practice in some of the most challenging corners of the globe. Known for their rigorous standards and tenacity, our graduates are often identified by other healthcare workers because “they ask questions” and believe in “best practices.”
Kaci upheld the first provision of the ANA Code of Ethics by offering her services to those in need and delivered care with compassion and competence.
While we believe it is necessary to take actions to protect others from exposure to a deadly virus, there are several principles that need to be upheld as well. When we constrain the liberty of a person temporarily for the benefit of others, this does not mean that we abandon basic principles of respect and dignity and ignore best practices. Fear has a way of constraining our capacity for respect and empathy. This should not be an excuse for disrespectful attitudes, procedures or policies.
It’s not surprising that Kaci is a healthcare hero nor that she’s a Hopkins nurse.
-Patricia Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing