Recognizing past actions, seeking forgiveness, and outlining its approach for the future, the American Nurses Association (ANA) unanimously adopted a racial reckoning statement in June 2022. According to the association, the statement was the first step in acknowledging previous actions that have marginalized nurses of color and perpetuated systemic racism.

Moving forward, ANA will:

  • Continue to partner with the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing.
  • Advocate for and follow guidance on reporting race and ethnicity in journals and publications.
  • Advocate for appropriate representation and inclusion in textbooks and other educational materials.
  • Actively engage in an association program of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Provide transparency in the race and ethnic makeup of the ANA Board of Directors, leadership, and staff. 
  • Build diversity in its volunteer and governance structure. 

The statement is part of ANA’s “multiphase journey of reconciliation, forgiveness, and healing.” It addresses racial harms dating to 1896, when the association formed.

“We know that ANA’s work to reckon with our historical and institutional racist actions and inactions is long overdue,” Loressa Cole, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, ANA Enterprise CEO, said. “Racism is an assault on the human spirit, and we want to be accountable for our part in perpetuating it. We have certainly failed many nurses of color and ethnic minority nursing organizations, undoubtedly damaging our relationship with them and in so doing, diluting the richness of the nursing profession. We ask forgiveness from nurses of color as a first step to mend what is broken.”