Racism Is a Public Health Issue in Need of Decisive Action

A Statement From the American Association of Nurse Practitioners

AUSTIN, TEXAS — The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) joins with the millions who are grieving the unwarranted deaths and marginalization of people of color. We stand with and support all those across our nation and the world who are calling on our leaders to respond to recent injustices with direct action to stamp out the systemic racism in our nation that continues to impact communities.

Nurse practitioners (NPs) place the health and dignity of every human being in the highest regard. We fight daily to ensure that patients receive equal access to the quality health care they deserve, and we work to break down the barriers that continue to reinforce inequalities. Marginalization of our fellow citizens is unacceptable and can result in unnecessary and tragic deaths.

We cannot tolerate that our patients continue to experience poor access to health care, lack of transportation and nutritious food, inadequate housing and more due to historic, systemic racism. Racism is, in fact, a public health issue with devastating physical and mental health consequences. It must be eradicated from our nation if we are to realize our potential of providing an equitable future for all of our citizens.

AANP stands with communities of color and all those who support them as, together, we work to end the inequalities and institutional racism that continue to impact our communities, our patients, our friends and neighbors and our nation. We urge dialogue and reject violence in all forms. Instead, each American — from our leaders to our fellow citizens — must act decisively to ensure the eradication of racial prejudice, bias and inequality from our society and to end the needless suffering of our fellow Americans.

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The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of the more than 290,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NPs’ patients and other health care consumers. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. For more information about AANP, visit aanp.org.

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