“Equal educational opportunity is a prerequisite to achieving racial equality in our Nation.” Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Written by Denetra Hampton
On Thursday, June 29, 2023, The Supreme Court ruled that the admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina that relied in part on racial considerations violated the United States Constitution. A historical decision that messaged to our students that they must rely on their grades only for admissions. This decision will affect every academic institution, family and student in the country, including nurses.
Without argument our educational system has been disproportionately implemented since the beginning of time and every student of color has been affected on every level disparagingly. The limited use of affirmative action sets our country back decades and widens the gap of disparities for generations. I am deeply saddened.
Why It Matters In Nursing
Disparities in nursing education continue to plaque our ability to move the needle on other issues that in close proximity, keep us from national and global conversations. Whether it is the nursing shortage or access to care, it is important that we are even more intentional about diversity and inclusion in our science narrative. If not, the impact on the mental and physical health of nurses and an entire nation will be catastrophic.
As I continue to press forward the unquestionable relevance of our health and nursing science, the Supreme Court Ruling has been a clear confirmation that the work has to be continued. Let me be clear, the tool of affirmative action has been one of the greatest avenues through which the fight for equity could flow, however as with any life-long fight, it should not be the only one and although deeply disappointed I am confident in the narrative of our next generation of nurse scientists. Onward.
So, to all students, nurse educators and colleagues be encouraged to always be excellent, get involved in those things that challenge your critical thinking, practice and policy. We still have work to do.