Kentucky Board of Nursing requires nurses to take an “implicit bias” course on racism in healthcare, risking discipline for non-compliance.
Mandatory Implicit Bias Training for All Nurses
The Kentucky Board of Nursing has recently implemented a new requirement for nurses to participate in an “implicit bias” course aimed at recognizing the historical impact of racism in healthcare.
Failure to complete the mandatory training could result in disciplinary actions, as stated by the board.
Developed by the Kentucky Nurses Association (KNA), the training seeks to address implicit bias in healthcare and goes beyond intentions, emphasizing the need for a broader conversation on racism and bias.
Some nurses expressed concerns about the course content and its implications.
Training Notes Included Challenging Images of the KKK
Notably, the training included a slide showing a picture of the Ku Klux Klan, which was challenging for some participants, like Rebecca Wall, a certified registered nurse anesthetist with 40 years of experience.
Despite her reservations, Wall eventually completed the training, feeling conflicted about the assumption that all nurses are racist.
The potential disciplinary measures have caused distress among nurses like Laura Morgan, a nurse with 39 years of experience and a program manager at the medical advocacy group Do No Harm.
She points out that non-renewal of licenses could be one of the consequences for those who don’t comply with the training requirement.
Perpetuating Racial Biases?
The training also introduced the concepts of “overt racism” and “covert racism,” offering examples of each.
The course outlines various aspects that can be considered covert racism, such as “white silence,” denial of institutional racism, and other attitudes or actions that perpetuate racial biases.
The American Nurses Association (ANA), the parent organization of KNA, experienced a shift in ideology following the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots and the presidential terms of Ernest Grant from 2018 to 2022.
This change led to the inclusion of “implicit bias” training and redefining terminology within the nursing community.
Making It To Provide Individualized Care to Patients
Critics argue that the changes imposed by the ANA have made it harder for them to provide individualized care to patients.
They believe that the perspectives of academic nurses, who may not have recent hands-on experience in healthcare settings, are dominating the decision-making process.
Rebecca Wall attempted to address her concerns through a letter to the ANA president but received no response.
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Source: Washington Examiner