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Diversity Awareness

Diversity Awareness is…

Expanding on the ANA’s Nursing’s Social Policy Statement, we have assumed the responsibility for assisting professional nurses in their efforts to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse patient population. Diversity Awareness, as we have envisioned it, is acknowledgement and appreciation of the existence of differences in attitudes, beliefs, thoughts, and priorities in the health-seeking behaviors of different patient populations; it reflects the nursing profession’s contract with society and our responsibility to act according to a strong code of ethics, i.e., to be aware of our own attitudes, beliefs, thoughts, and priorities in providing care to individual patients, families, communities, and populations.

Building on recent strides made in the field of cultural competence and acknowledging the need for proactive and knowledgeable response to persistent health disparities in our society, the ANA has committed to partnering with organizational and scholarly leaders to provide practicing nurses, nurse faculty and educators, administrators, and student nurses with high-quality educational resources that we anticipate will encourage you to:

  • Make a professional commitment to increasing your understanding of diversity issues and apply this knowledge in caring for all patients.
  • Increase awareness of your own attitudes, perceptions, and feelings about different aspects of diversity.

Nursing Organizations

Diversity Awareness in Professional Nursing recognizes the unique needs of different cultural, religious, social, and clinical patient populations in the United States. It is our hope that we will be a resource for all nurses of varying backgrounds, and, that our future efforts will permit collaboration with other professional organizations that aim to be a voice for both nurses and patients.

Health Insurance & Healthcare Access

Socioeconomic status is strongly linked to health status and healthcare seeking behaviors. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, uninsured and under-insured individuals are more likely to postpone or forgo needed health care including medication prescription filling. Almost 50 million Americans are uninsured at any given time. As such, disease severity in this population is significantly worse. It is our hope that you will find the resources here relevant and informative.

Please stay tuned for new materials in this area and feel free to share your perspectives with us.

LGBT Individuals & Communities

Building on recent social and political advances in the U.S. to protect the human rights of same-sex partnership and expand traditional perspectives on gender identity, Diversity Awareness in Professional Nursing is privileged to provide what we hope will be a wealth of resources to support nursing practice for LGBT individuals and communities.

Please tuned for new materials in this area and feel free to share your help our effort by sharing with us high-quality, user-friendly materials that you may have or develop.

Related Resources

Mental Health

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, approximately 20-25% of American adults experience a diagnosable mental disorder during a given year. Diversity Awareness in Professional Nursing recognizes that such individuals have poorer health outcomes, less healthcare access, and multiple co-morbidities that make mental disorder and illness a relevant clinical practice issue for all nurses, irrespective of specialty area. It is our desire to provide you with meaningful clinical support tools that will help you identify and meet the needs of your patients who may be struggling with mental distress.

Please stay tuned for new materials in this area and feel free to share your perspectives with us in the comments section.


Our decision to include Bariatric/Obesity in our Diversity Awareness in Professional Nursing was a “no-brainer” given the emerging evidence that documents discrimination against overweight and obese patients when seeking health care. Given the growing epidemic of obesity in the United States and the costs to individual health status and the healthcare system, it is our belief that clinical support for professional nurses in this area is timely and needed.

Please stay tuned for exciting developments in this emerging and important field.

Racial & Ethnic Minority Communities

Recognizing that racial and ethnic minority communities have distinct health beliefs and substantial unmet needs when seeking healthcare, this page has been designed to provide the professional nurse with both a general overview of racial/ethnic health disparities in the United States and access to a variety of culturally-specific support tools to identify unmet needs in vulnerable populations.

The materials provided here have been gathered from multiple reliable resources, including government agencies, community groups, and research committees. The list is not exhaustive; it represents the ANA’s beginning efforts to meet the growing demand for relevant, high-quality clinical support tools that can be applied to meeting the needs of diverse patient populations.

We invite you to leave your comments and share similar materials that you may come across or develop and that you believe would benefit the larger nursing community. It is our hope that Diversity Awareness in Professional Nursing will continue to be a collective and enriching effort for all nurses.

Please don’t be offended if we missed something…we welcome your help and expertise so drop us a comment below.

Health Disparities

The National Academies Press
Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care 

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation 
Eliminating Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities in Health Care: What are the Options?

Cultural Competence Tools


Recognizing that we all possess biases, some of which we may not be fully aware, the ANA Diversity Awareness Project has been granted permission by the Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence, to connect professional nurses to their online self-assessment module.

The Cultural Competence Health Practitioner Assessment (CCHPA) was developed at the request of the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS). The CCHPA is made available by the Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence.

The CCHPA is intended to support the BPHC, and its funded programs, to enhance the delivery of high quality services to culturally and linguistically diverse individuals and underserved communities. It is also intended to promote cultural and linguistic competence as essential approaches for practitioners in the elimination of health disparities among racial and ethnic groups.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the elderly population (individuals > 65 years old) will continue to grow substantially over the next forty years. Given the higher prevalence of chronic illness and unique psychosocial needs of this population, the resources provided here have been selected to provide user-friendly clinical support to professional nurses who care for geriatric patients.

We invite your comments and suggestions for making this webpage a meaningful resource.

Related Resources

Culturally-Specific Tools

Black and African Americans

American Indian/Native Americans/Alaskan Natives

Asian and Pacific Islander Americans

Hispanic and Latino Americans

  • We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children Activity and Nutrition) Parents Handbook/¡Nosotros Podemos! Familias Encontrando el Balance: Manual para Padres (en español) 
  • Act in Time to Heart Attack Signs Easy to Read Handout/Actué rápido frente a los síntomas de un ataque al corazón hoja básica (en español) 
  • Delicious Heart Healthy Latino Recipes/Platillos latinos sabrosos y saludables (bilingual English, Spanish) 
  • Risk Factor Booklets for Latinos

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