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National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing

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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.

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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.

Read the Mission, Vision, and Goals

What you can do

Combatting racism in nursing needs action at every level. Here’s what you can do as an individual:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Share your story
    Capturing all perspectives and insights – the good and the bad – is key to forge change in the nursing profession.
  5. Learn how you can make a difference everyday
    This infographic shares 10 ways every nurse care be an antiracist.

The Commission's Project ECHO® on Racism in Nursing Series is a great way to combine these actions. 

Working together to address unfair structural and systemic practices, organizations, healthcare systems, and individuals can ensure the nursing profession exemplifies inclusivity, diversity, and equity.

Media coverage

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The American Nurses Foundation is a separate charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation does not engage in political campaign activities or communications.

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