While most of the focus in the United States in the last year has been on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there have also been intense challenges and difficult conversations about another ongoing and pervasive crisis: systemic racism. Over the last few months, we’ve provided a forum for nurse leaders to dive into the topic, focusing specifically on race within the medical setting and how to overcome it with practices of inclusivity.
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Williams was joined by Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, president of the American Nursing Association; Martha A. Dawson, DNP, RN, FACHE, president of the National Black Nurses Association; Alana Cueto, MSN, RN, CNL, president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses; and Mary Joy Garcia-Dia, the president of the Philippine Nurses Association of America and the program director for Nursing Informatics in the Information Technology Department and the Center for Professional Nursing Practice at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Where Things Stand
George Floyd’s death, the recent Derek Chauvin conviction and the spike in violence toward Asian Americans demonstrated that there’s still much more work to be done when it comes to diversity and other issues related to race.
These shared experiences have created a sort of “awakening” in the nursing community, according to webinar participants. Nurse leaders have a unique opportunity to drive real change. The first step is taking an open-eyed look at where things stand within nursing in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusivity.
In fact, a poll of the nearly 100 webinar participants showed that while nursing is making progress toward diversity, nurses feel it is not as much progress as they’d like to see. When asked the same question about nursing leadership more specifically, participants similarly felt like there was progress, but more room for improvement.
Organizational Improvement That Goes Beyond Diversity
Pursuing diversity isn’t enough, according the webinar panel. Equity and inclusivity are just as important. Diverse leaders must be empowered and engaged to help people excel and thrive.
How Nursing Can Move Forward
Now is not the time to be quiet. Nurses and nurse leaders should speak up to make a difference. Part of progress is creating awareness about the lack of diversity in nursing and nursing leadership. There are four main points any organization should thoughtfully consider:
- Does your organization reflect the makeup of the people that you serve?
- If the answer is no, what do you do with that data?
- How can nurse leaders help to change their organizations to be more reflective of their communities?
- In addition, how can nurses take real action within their communities?
Learn More From Our Speakers
Visit Tiptonhealth.com/webinars/ to view our on-demand webinar video about racism and health equity.