Racial Justice

Two nurses holding signs "Nurses Say Black Lives Matter" and "Racism is a Public Health Crisis"

Registered nurses know that our patients’ health is not only determined by what happens when they encounter the health care system, but also by the social determinants of their lives. Racialized inequalities have a profound effect on how public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and social norms shape our society. As patient advocates dedicated to preventing and healing all forms of illness, protecting health and safety, and alleviating human suffering, union nurses play an active role in dismantling structural racism. Read more »

The first convention of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, Boston, 1909

Celebrating the pioneering National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses

As nurses committed to fighting against the public health crisis of racism, we must endeavor to reveal and share our history so we can build toward a different future – one of inclusion, peace, and justice.

Historical Black nurses

Six Black nurses and health care workers who fought for Black liberation

The stories of these six Black nurses and health care workers teach us to imagine the impossible, to fight for justice, and to collectively build institutions that advance freedom while challenging those that would keep it from us.


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Naming, understanding, and overcoming racism

Every day, nurses see how racism operates by unfairly disadvantaging some individuals and communities while advantaging others. Racism persists when we do not aggressively challenge it. The first step to confronting racism is calling it what it is.

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Naming, understanding, and taking action against anti-Asian racism

NNU remains steadfast in our commitment to eradicating racism wherever it operates — from violent attacks, to government policy, to workplace discrimination, to the long history of white supremacy.

Exercise: Talking about racism, racial justice, and health care

An exercise to help us think about and discuss the long-standing public health crisis of racism in the United States. By taking some time to understand and explain the problem, we can start to address and change it in our workplaces and in our communities.

Exercise: Growing racial justice

Think, learn, and share about how you and your coworkers, friends, or family have worked together across different backgrounds to build a more just and equitable society for all people.

Signs and stickers

Download printable signs and stickers to use in the workplace and for actions.


Nurses of Chinese Hospital stand with their patients against racism

The Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted our communities of color. As nurses and patient advocates, we oppose all forms of structural racism that negatively affect the public health of our communities.

Safe staffing ratios help nurses address disparities in health care

The ever-rising cost of health care and its discriminatory characteristics contribute to the growing chasm in wealth inequality and health disparities. We all deserve the best care possible and, studies show, staffing ratios save lives!

Nurses holdiing "Black Lives Matter" signs

Nursing our way to health care freedom

Juneteenth reminds us how far we need to go to achieve equity in our workplaces and communities.

Nurses marching and holding signs: "Chinese hospital nurses on strike for our patients' safety"

Making history

The registered nurses of Chinese Hospital are living role models of Asian American struggle and victory.

Black nurses have always fought for Black liberation

In addition to the ongoing pandemic and all its fallout, we’ve seen years of emboldened hostility against people of color and, now, coordinated right-wing efforts to control what future generations know about our history as a nation.

Celebrating nurses during Filipinx American History Month

Filipinx RNs have played a crucial role in this nation’s nursing workforce and in providing patient care during the pandemic. Despite the heavy toll on the Filipinx community, their fighting spirit has helped others survive.

Press releases

NNU today urged the rejection of a new Florida bill intended to ban funding for diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and eliminate majors focused on the study of race and gender in Florida colleges and universities calling it an attack on students of color, women, and access for all students to essential curriculum in higher education.
Nurses mourn the tragic death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and the community fighting for justice in the wake of his killing.
NNU joins the international community in condemning this attack on civilians, on children, on health care infrastructure, health care workers, and public health.
The registered nurses of NNU and NYSNA are deeply disturbed by Congress’ refusal to reduce gun violence and ensure safe schools, workplaces, and all areas of society by enacting desperately needed gun control laws.