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 »

Emma Reynolds at the bedside

Did you know?

The history of nursing is deeply interconnected with the history of racial justice movements. This series of short videos highlights the stories of nurses who have been leaders in the fight for racial justice.

Class available! A History of Racism in Nursing: Creating an Anti-racist Path Forward

This CE class will examine the history of how racism has affected Black, Indigenous, and other people of color and how this history has set the stage for the ongoing structural racism in our health care settings.


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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

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.
NNU echoed the widespread shock and horror at the deadly, racist attack in Buffalo and pledged to work with elected officials and community organizations to hold accountable not just the perpetrators of white supremacist terrorism, but also those who inspire and encourage them.