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Racism in nursing and healthcare is a longstanding public health crisis that needs our attention, both in California and across the nation.
Discrimination impacts all aspects of life, including mental and physical health, career and employment, education, housing, and the justice system. Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color are often subjected to structural and systemic racism in workplace practices, processes inherent in many health care systems, hospitals, and care settings that must be identified, addressed, and eradicated.
“Racist attitudes, bias, stereotypes, and behaviors against nurses and nursing students of color have absolutely no place in nursing and are a direct contradiction to the core values and the Code of Ethics for Nurses. We know that the issue of racism in nursing is a persistent stain on our profession that directly impacts the quality of care for the patients and communities that we serve,” says Dr. Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, President of the American Nurses Association.
As nurses, we are obligated to first address the systemic racism within our own nursing profession. Only then can we hope to address racism in our healthcare system adequately and comprehensively.
“Racism in a public health crisis. As nurses, we are focused on caring for our patients and communities regardless of race or skin color. However, everyday reality falls short of those noble goals. ANA\California is taking the first step towards eradicating racism. The Future of Nursing Report 2020-2030 Calls for a shared agenda among nursing and healthcare organizations and I could not be prouder of this groundbreaking initiative,” says Dr. Anita Girard, DNP, RN, CPHQ, NEA-BC, President of American Nurses Association\California 2021-2023.
"Racism in nursing and healthcare is a systematic and institutionalized problem and must be approached as such. These assessments and plans of action are only the first steps in our journey to eradicate racism. Health equity and social justice are our common goals, and we are proudly disrupting the current status quo through meaningful and sustainable policy change in nursing practice," says Dr. Marketa Houskova, DNP, MAIA, BA, RN, Executive Director of ANA\California.
The Racism in Nursing Assessments™ are meant to serve as a catalyst for sustainable change, as well as a roadmap to facilitate individual and organizational awareness of systemic racism in nursing and healthcare.