‘Why not me?’

‘Why not me?’

Dr. Ngozi F. Mbibi

‘Why not me?’

By Racial Diversity Committee member Dr. Ngozi F. Mbibi, DNP, RNC-OB, FWACN, FAAN

Welcome to the MNA Racial Diversity Committee’s first blog post.

Our committee is only a few months old. We started as a new Racial Diversity Task Force in 2017. (MNA had a similar task force and a work group in the early 2000s.) In 2018, the House of Delegates saw the importance of continuing and expanding our work, and decided we should be a standing committee. Members were appointed at the January 16, 2019, Board of Directors meeting.

We have been meeting monthly ever since and are working on some major projects. (Some of our members who were at the July 11 meeting are in the photo at the top of this post.)

Our committee looks for ways to curb the rampant discrimination reported in our institutions.

The committee is looking for more nurses of diverse origins to join and showcase what facilities have to gain by embracing diversity and stamping out discrimination.

Racial discrimination is real and can lead to toxicity in the workplace. The need for team effort is important in healthcare settings; and it reduces stress on both staff and management.

Let’s look at this example:

 Why not me? This was a recurring question in the mind of Nurse A. This question is related to her numerous efforts to be part of the team or be treated like one. Nurse A made a sixth application for her unit’s working committee; and for the sixth time, the response from her manager was that she was not selected because they got a better choice.

On close observation, she noted that the nurse accepted into the committee was her white colleague who works the same shift, has the same qualifications as her, and is about the same age.

“Why not me?” she thought. Nurse A is a person of color working among numerous white colleagues.

This raises an issue of discrimination and my question for  you to discuss and think about in this first blog post is: How can we make her belong?

Watch for more to come soon.

 

3 Comments

  1. I work with many nurses of color & find there is discrimination. Regretfully I have done it myself as I am not good with names. Once I get to know somebody even then sometimes–& not just with people of color. I think working on this issue is a great idea. How do we become inclusive and change the status quo? By being friends not just in the workplace, but at home as well.

  2. Thank you so much for doing this! I fully support creating more opportunities for an integrated management team. I am a caucasian and would like to know ways I can help.

  3. Opportunities denied for special roles and projects and for leadership at HC facilities for nurses of color is commonplace. Multiple nurses have approached me to advocate and the resistance and denial of problems is appalling. Contract proposals to allocate BU diversity steward’s rejected!! We have begun referring the most serious cases to the EEOC for the nurse to pursue as we don’t have specific contract language on racial disparity and discrimination. Please be an ally to nurses of color to recognize disparities and support changes.

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