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ANA Opposes Actions that Prohibit DEI Education and Programs

Shannon McClendon,

SILVER SPRING – MD - The American Nurses Association (ANA) strongly opposes any legislation or effort that would prohibit diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) programs or dictate how history is taught. Prohibiting colleges, universities and health care-related professional institutions and licensing boards from adopting DEI training, education, and programs would pose significant setbacks at multiple levels. These actions and legislative measures set a dangerous and insidious precedent. ANA urges all academic and health care institutions to adopt and aggressively maintain policies, procedures, and practices that embrace inclusiveness, promote civility and mutual respect of nurses and their patients. 

“DEI should be integrated into every aspect of nursing education, from curriculum development to faculty recruitment and retention”, said ANA President Jennifer Mensik Kennedy. “These programs should also promote an understanding of our country’s history to help place in context the experiences of our patients, families, and communities. Diversity education and mandatory diversity training in the workplace are non-negotiable tools for the nursing profession to exemplify inclusion and equity resulting in antiracist practice and work environments, and improved health care outcomes.”

ANA urges leaders and policymakers to reject any legislation that would limit DEI efforts in higher education and health care-related professional institutions and licensing boards. Instead, we call on leaders and policymakers to support and invest in programs that support inclusive excellence, promote preserving the dignity of all as well as the human rights for all health care workers, patients, and others within the organization and community.

“These measures and proposed legislative efforts are already having a detrimental impact on the nursing profession, our patients, and the communities that we serve,” said ANA Enterprise CEO Loressa Cole, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “Nurses deliver care to diverse patient populations and recognize the urgency of understanding and addressing the unique needs and experiences of all individuals. Therefore, the organizations that employ nurses and the universities that educate the next generation of nurses have an obligation to establish and enforce DEI programs.”

ANA is taking meaningful accountability for its own past actions that have negatively impacted nurses of color through a formal Journey of Racial Reconciliation. Collaborating with leading nursing organizations in the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing, ANA is examining 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. All nurses, leaders and health professionals can get involved and find resources for change.


About the American Nurses Association
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's more than 4 million registered nurses. ANA advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit

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