Nurses Make a Personal Pledge to End Racism

The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses and the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board are giving their community a platform to publicly share their commitment—and actions—to dismantle structural racism in healthcare.

In an effort to combat racial injustice, the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses and the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board are asking nurses to share their personal anti-racism pledges on AMSN’s website pledge page and encouraging them to describe the changes they are making in their practices and communities.

The pledge page urges nurses to do their part to dismantle structural racism in healthcare, provide equal care to patients of all races and ethnicities, and ensure healthy workplaces for all healthcare providers. This initiative is one of several goals the organizations outlined in an anti-racism statement released in June following the murder of George Floyd.

“We felt very strongly that we needed to be clear with our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and not simply offer platitudes,” said AMSN’s CEO Terri Hinkley, EdD, MBA, BScN, RN, CAE.

The statement includes four actions AMSN committed to take, including acknowledging and apologizing for the role nursing has played in the perpetuation of racism; engaging and listening to colleagues and communities impacted by racism; recommending public policy solutions for healthcare and the nursing profession; and making education available for members.

“By pledging to hold ourselves and each other accountable to one another, we are publicly declaring words are not enough,” Hinkley said.

In its statement, AMSN described how medical-surgical nurses saw firsthand the devastating effects of racism while providing care to people affected by COVID-19, which has disproportionately affected Blacks and ethnic minorities in the United States.

AMSN recently redesigned and launched a new website. When they decided to develop a pledge page, they reached out to their website consultants who helped them design the page where members, certificants, and nonmembers could personalize their pledge messages and add a corresponding image.

Hinkley wrote a personal pledge to members and admitted to her own failures. “I had to hold myself accountable to be better. I figured the best way to do that was to share it with my membership and the broader nursing community,” she said.

When she shared her pledge with her two board presidents, AMSN President Robin Hertel, EdS, MSN, RN, CMSRN, and MSNCB President Antoinette Falker, DNP, RN, GCNS-BC, CMSRN, CBN, they joined her in publicly making their own pledges.

“We wanted to be unequivocal in our commitment to action to our members, certificants, community, and the broader world,” Hinkley said.

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Lisa Boylan

By Lisa Boylan

Lisa Boylan is a senior editor of Associations Now. MORE

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