The association noted that it is seeking forgiveness from the various minority nurse associations.
“In the end, it is our actions that will truly reflect the sincerity of this apology and serve as the underpinning for forgiveness,” the letter said. “For it is forgiveness that we seek — forgiveness from nurses of color, the nursing profession and the communities that have been harmed by our actions. We fervently hope that this statement, its subsequent work and the efforts of the Commission will contribute to healing — individual healing for nurses, reconciliation with the ethnic-minority nurse associations and healing of the profession. ANA wants this statement to reflect genuine reconciliation and acknowledgment and hopes that it is a step toward forgiveness. Ultimately, we seek to contribute to the healing of nursing.”
The letter revealed that from 1916 until 1964, ANA “purposefully, systemically and systematically excluded Black nurses.” The association also noted that “it was evident that exclusionary practices and a failure to represent all nurses remained” after 1964, though there were no longer any tangible rules preventing the membership of nurses of color.
Moving forward, ANA’s board of directors plans to “engage in direct reconciliation” with each of the the minority nurse associations, develop and implement diversity impact analysis in all of their policies and positions, initiate an oral history project to amplify the contributions of nurses of color and “continue to reckon with and apologize for past harms.”
The letter can be read in full at nursingworld.org.