National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing
On January 25, 2021, leading nursing organizations launched the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing (the Commission). The Commission examines the issue of racism within nursing nationwide focusing on the impact on nurses, patients, communities, and health care systems to motivate all nurses to confront individual and systemic racism.
The Commission members and organizations represent a broad continuum of nursing practice, racially and ethnically diverse groups, and regions across the country. The Commission is led by the American Nurses Association (ANA), National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations (NCEMNA), and National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN).Before joining forces to address racism in nursing, the organizations that make up the National Commission to Address Racism (the Commission) have for years raised their individual voices to condemn all forms of racism within our society and health care system.
Why this matters now
The Commissions’ work to address racism in nursing is critical. Racism is historically rooted in the nursing profession and continues today.
Much work needs to be for the nursing profession to exemplify inclusion, diversity, and equity resulting in antiracist practice and work environments. The Commission leads a national discussion to create safe and liberating environments as well as an antiracist profession for all nurses.
The Commission brings together nurses from marginalized and under-represented populations, along with nurses from predominantly white nurses who have advantages and privileges from the existing systems.
What you can do
Combatting racism in nursing needs action at every level. The Commission is committed to providing resources for people at every level. Listen to the two episodes of the Nurse Keith show featuring Commissioners explaining the history of the Commission as well as its most recent work.
Here’s what you can do as an individual:
- Understand what racism is
Words matter, and so does context alignment. The Commission drew upon the existing definitions and added to them to create a holistic definition that speaks to multiple aspects of racism.
- Discover how pervasive racism is in nursing
On January 25, 2022, the Commission released the results from a survey that showed racism is a substantial problem within the profession.
- Hear directly from other nurses
The Commission held listening sessions to hear directly from nurses of color. These conversations informed policies and practices to address systemic racism.
- Share your story
Capturing all perspectives and insights – the good and the bad – is key to forge change in the nursing profession.
- Learn how you can make a difference everyday
This infographic shares 10 ways every nurse care be an antiracist.
Working together to address unfair structural and systemic practices, organizations, healthcare systems, and individuals can ensure the nursing profession exemplifies inclusivity, diversity, and equity.
The Commission's Project ECHO® on Racism in Nursing Series is a great way to combine these actions.
- The National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing Reflects on Nurses’ Vast Contributions During Nurses Month, May 26, 2021
- Why Representation in Nursing Matters (American Nurses Association and National Black Nurses Association featured) U.S. News & World Report, May 6, 2021
- Continuing History of Nurses on the Front Lines (ANA President Ernest Grant discusses nurses’ role in social justice) U.S. News & World Report, May 6, 2021
- ANA Selects G. Rumay Alexander to Serve as the Scholar-In-Residence Focused on Addressing Racism in Nursing, March 5, 2021
- Leading Nursing Organizations Launch the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing., January 25, 2021
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