Title: Nursing Policy and Diversity: An Examination of Florida Nurses’ Role in Policy Improvement
Nursing organizations play a vital role in shaping policies that impact diversity in nursing. As the healthcare landscape becomes more diverse, it is essential to ensure that nursing policies reflect the diverse needs of patients and healthcare professionals. In Florida, nurses and nursing organizations have a unique opportunity to improve policies that promote diversity in nursing. This analysis will compare and contrast the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN) Position Statement on Diversity and Inclusion (March 2017) with the American Academy of Nursing’s (AAN) White Paper published on August 13, 2019. The aim is to identify any missing elements in these reports and discuss the points that merit further consideration and support.
1. American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Position Statement on Diversity and Inclusion (March 2017)
The AACN’s Position Statement provides a comprehensive overview of the importance of diversity and inclusion in nursing education and practice. It emphasizes the need to recruit diverse students, faculty, and staff to reflect the populations they serve. The report also highlights the significance of creating inclusive learning environments and developing culturally competent nursing professionals.
a. Specific Strategies: While the AACN acknowledges the importance of diversity and inclusion, it lacks concrete strategies to achieve these goals. The report could benefit from including specific initiatives or best practices for recruitment, retention, and development of diverse nursing students, faculty, and staff.
b. Intersectionality: The concept of intersectionality, the recognition of how different social identities intersect and shape an individual’s experiences, is not explicitly addressed in the AACN report. Exploring the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and other identities would enhance the understanding of diversity and its implications for nursing education and practice.
Discussion Points of Support:
a. Inclusive Curriculum: The AACN’s emphasis on developing culturally competent nursing professionals through an inclusive curriculum aligns with current best practices. The integration of diverse perspectives in nursing education fosters cultural humility and prepares nurses to provide equitable care to diverse patient populations.
b. Collaborative Partnerships: The report highlights the importance of collaboration between academic institutions, healthcare organizations, and communities to promote diversity and inclusion in nursing. Such partnerships can facilitate the exchange of knowledge, resources, and support to address the complex challenges surrounding diversity in nursing.
2. American Academy of Nursing’s White Paper (August 13, 2019)
The AAN’s White Paper aims to guide nursing leaders, policymakers, educators, and researchers in fostering diversity and addressing health disparities. It emphasizes the importance of diversity across the nursing workforce to better reflect the needs and values of diverse patients and communities.
a. Intersectional Approaches: Similar to the AACN report, the AAN White Paper does not explicitly address the concept of intersectionality. Understanding how multiple social identities intersect and influence healthcare experiences is crucial for developing comprehensive strategies to address health disparities and promote diversity in nursing.
b. Community Engagement: While the AAN highlights the need for community partnerships, it does not delve into the specific ways in which nurses can engage with communities. Fostering relationships and involving communities in policy development and implementation can contribute to more inclusive and effective initiatives.
Discussion Points of Support:
a. Social Determinants of Health: The AAN emphasizes the role of social determinants of health in promoting diversity and addressing health disparities. Recognizing and addressing the impact of social, economic, and environmental factors on health outcomes is critical for developing policies that promote health equity. This aligns with current research and practice in nursing.
b. Data Collection and Research: The AAN stresses the importance of collecting and analyzing data related to diversity, health outcomes, and barriers to diversity in nursing. Evidence-based research can inform policy decisions and facilitate the development of targeted interventions to address disparities. Comprehensive data collection efforts should include variables such as race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status.
The missing elements identified in both the AACN and AAN reports highlight areas for improvement. The inclusion of specific strategies, intersectionality analysis, and community engagement can enhance the effectiveness of policies designed to promote diversity in nursing. The discussed support points demonstrate alignment with current best practices and research, highlighting the importance of inclusive curricula, collaborative partnerships, attention to social determinants of health, and evidence-based approaches.
Nurses and nursing organizations in Florida have a critical role to play in improving policies that impact diversity in nursing. By addressing the missing elements identified in the AACN and AAN reports and embracing the discussion points of support, they can contribute to a more inclusive and equitable healthcare system. Fostering diversity in nursing will not only benefit patients but also enrich the profession itself, leading to better outcomes for all.