The Equity-Minded Nurse


Who are Equity-minded nurses?

Health equity is an aspirational vision of what population health can be. To achieve health equity, we must address and solve health inequities which can be defined as the systemic, avoidable, and unjust social and economic policies and practices that create barriers to health (Braveman & Gruskin, 2003). Health equity can only be achieved by a collective approach which embraces the wisdom of all healthcare disciplines, including nursing. 

By adopting the concept of “equity-minded nurses” we can rewrite this script for ourselves and become central to constructing the health outcomes that align with our professional and personal values.

Equity-minded nurses are those with the knowledge, skills, and desire to advance health equity. Equity-minded nurses recognize themselves as informed and capable drivers of change who are uniquely poised to inform healthcare practice, policies, research, and educational standards. The term ‘equity-minded’ was coined by the Center for Urban Education and “refers to the mode of thinking exhibited by practitioners who are willing to assess their own racialized assumptions, to acknowledge their lack of knowledge in the history of race and racism, to take responsibility for the success of historically underserved and minoritized student groups, and to critically assess racialization in the their own practices as educators and/or administrators” (McNair, Bensimon, Malcolm-Piqueux, 2020, p. 20).  Translated into nursing practice we might say that equity-minded nurses are

 those who are willing to assess their own racialized assumptions and recognize how these assumptions can impact their clinical decision making, to acknowledge the history of race and racism and how this history impacts current health outcomes, to take responsibility for the optimizing the health and wellness of historically underserved and minoritized individual patients, communities, and populations, and to critically assess racialization in their own practices as nurses, policy-makers, educators, researchers and/or leaders.

Equity-minded nurses so deeply understand and embrace health equity, social justice, anti-racism, and cultural humility that these concepts emerge as normalized, automatic and default thought processes no matter the setting or the group of people they work with.


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