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The American Nurses Association Issues an Apology After A Long History Of Racism With Black Nurses!

-Eldica stuart-


The American Nurses Association, a publicly credible recognized organization that has been around since 1897 to protect the profession of nursing, recently made headlines after issuing a statement citing they wanted to apologize for their historical exclusion of minorities!

 According to, a 2021 survey was conducted citing that 5,600-nurses experienced racism at an overall of 63% , alongside  66% of nurses experienced racism from their coworkers and 60% of nurses reported racism from their managers and supervisors.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution issued a letter, and, in their statement, they wrote, ““Our intention with this statement is to publicly identify and acknowledge our past actions while addressing the harms that continue today.”

 The letter continues, “the  section on ANA Reckoning is not meant to be a complete listing of all ANA actions that have caused harm. Historical exclusions of and transgressions against Black nurses will be discussed in this document. This harm has undoubtedly extended to all nurses of color. In addition, there is much debate about labels and terms to identify racialized minorities. We have chosen to use the term “nurses of color” to reflect all nurses representing race and ethnic groups. It is our intention to be fully inclusive in the use of this language.”

According to the issued statement, from 1916 until 1964, ANA “purposefully, systemically and systematically excluded Black nurses.” Black nurses are said to have been marginalized for over 100 years. With racism being the leading cause of preventing Black nurses from advancing in their careers.

“In the end, it is our actions that will truly reflect the sincerity of this apology and serve as the underpinning for forgiveness,” the letter said. “For it is forgiveness that we seek — forgiveness from nurses of color, the nursing profession and the communities that have been harmed by our actions. We fervently hope that this statement, its subsequent work and the efforts of the Commission will contribute to healing — individual healing for nurses, reconciliation with the ethnic-minority nurse associations and healing of the profession. ANA wants this statement to reflect genuine reconciliation and acknowledgment and hopes that it is a step toward forgiveness. Ultimately, we seek to contribute to the healing of nursing.”

The Becker’s Hospital Review reports that the letter concludes with an apology and a list of actions being taken on by the ANA. Actions include remaining a partner in and supporting the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing as well as backing appropriate representation and inclusion in educational material.

Cousins, if a nursing organization is against their Black nurses, how are non-black nurses treating and caring for black patients? Nursing is a career choice that should not be biased as you come across people of all ethnic groups at all different levels of socioeconomic status. Thoughts?

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