Addressing Racism and Advancing
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Nursing:
An Interactive Timeline
As a prominent health care organization representing the nation’s more than 5 million nurses, ANA has a responsibility to support all nurses from all backgrounds and in all practice settings and to positively evolve the nursing profession. In 2020, we embarked on a journey to:
- acknowledge and upend racism in nursing;
- deeply reflect on and apologize and make amends for our own past actions and inactions that harmed nurses of color and the nation’s health;
- achieve high standards for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as an employer; and
- collaborate and engage with leading organizations.
Doing so is crucial to achieving our vision, a healthy world through the power of nursing. We are committed to this arduous and at times painful journey to transform the nursing profession. As a leader within “the most honest and ethical profession,” ANA stands with integrity on the right side of history.
Our journey continues.
June 20, 2020
Outraged by the murder of George Floyd and other Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, the ANA Membership Assembly pledges 7 actions to oppose racism, discrimination, and violence, and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice for all.
January 25, 2021
ANA, 3 co-leading and 19 member organizations launch the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing.
March 5, 2021
ANA appoints distinguished nurse leader G. Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, FAAN, as scholar-in-residence to support the scholarly underpinnings of the Commission’s work.
The Commission holds a series of listening sessions between February and April to capture the experiences of racism shared by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color nurses, publishing a summary of its findings in June.
The Commission defines racism in nursing and identifies 10 ways to be antiracist in nursing.
January 25, 2022
The Commission finds in a national survey of more than 5,600 respondents that there is widespread racism in nursing. 63% of participants say they’ve personally experienced an act of racism in the workplace.
More than 1,000 nurses participating in 2 Project ECHO® on Racism in Nursing series taught and learned from each other about how to dismantle racism and develop allyship.
In a series of 6 reports, the Commission finds racism thoroughly embedded in four key aspects of the profession—education, practice, research, and policy— as part of contemporary society, and throughout its history.
June 11, 2022
The ANA Membership Assembly takes historic action to begin a journey of racial reckoning by unanimously voting to adopt a racial reckoning statement from ANA. “Through acts of omission, when we failed to act, and commission, when ANA’s actions negatively impacted nurses of color, we have caused harm and perpetuated systemic racism.”
July 12, 2022
As part of a journey of reconciliation, forgiveness, and healing, ANA apologizes and asks forgiveness for its past actions that negatively impacted nurses of color and perpetuated systemic racism.
July 27, 2022
ANA representatives including CEO Dr. Loressa Cole and President Dr. Ernest Grant extend an apology on behalf of ANA to nurses attending the National Black Nurses Association 50th Annual Conference in Chicago, including President Dr. Martha Dawson and Past Present and founding member Dr. Betty Smith Williams. ANA acknowledged that its own actions and inactions led to the very founding of NBNA and harmed nurses and communities of color.
The Commission defines allyship in nursing: An ethical duty through intentional interventions, advocacy, and support to eliminate harmful acts, words, and deeds and creating space to amplify voices that are not traditionally heard, recognized, or welcomed.
October 15, 2022
ANA representatives, including Cheryl Peterson, vice president of nursing programs, and Dr. Rumay Alexander, equity advisor, joined Chi Eta Phi Sorority during a celebration of its 90th anniversary, to extend an apology to the sorority and its president, Dr. Sarah Killian, for past harms ANA committed against nurses and patients of color and the nursing profession.
November 3, 2022
The Commission’s 2022 Virtual Summit features keynote speaker Dr. Kenya Beard, who discusses Addressing Systemic Racism: A Fundamental Driver of Inequities.
February 3, 2023
The boards of directors of ANA and the National Black Nurses Association meet to co-create a plan on a collective opportunity to address racism in nursing and diversify the nursing profession.
March 13, 2023
The ANA Enterprise appoints G. Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, FAAN, as senior inclusion advisor to advance its portfolio of diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic priorities.
May 8, 2023
ANA launches the Mary Eliza Mahoney Lecture Series in honor of the first professionally licensed African American nurse and pioneer within the nursing community. “Service for Humanity: The Life of Mary Eliza Mahoney” focuses on her significant influence on Black nurses, all nurses of color, and on the nursing profession at large.
June 16, 2023
The ANA Center for Ethics and Human Rights releases a position statement, The Nurse’s Role and Responsibility in Unveiling and Dismantling Racism in Nursing. The statement calls on all nurses to engage in self-reflection to identify and address biases, fears, and racist assumptions that may affect the provision of respectful care.
July 13, 2023
ANA representatives, including Immediate Past President Dr. Ernest Grant and Director-at-Large Jennifer Gil, attend the National Association of Hispanic Nurses 48th Annual Conference to extend an apology for ANA’s past actions and inactions that harmed nurses and patients of color as well as the nursing profession.