July 6, 2023

ANA, AMA, others react to SCOTUS ruling on affirmative action

Editor's Note

Since the divisive ruling on affirmative action from the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) on June 29, which stated that "colleges and universities can no longer take race into consideration as a specific basis in admissions—a landmark decision that will have profound impacts on higher education institutions including medical and nursing schools," several healthcare organizations have come forward to denounce it, Fierce Healthcare reports.

Chief among the healthcare organizations are the American Nursing Association (ANA) and the American Medical Association (AMA), which filed an amicus brief alongside the Association of American Medical Colleges and some 40 other healthcare organizations in support of the respondents, Harvard College and University of North Carolina. According to Fierce Healthcare, that brief was cited by the dissenting Supreme Court justices in the ruling.

In a statement, the ANA said they were "appalled" by the SCOTUS "detrimental" decision, which "will have unfortunate consequences and signals the continuation of systemic and structural racism" that will "inevitably...impact the admissions process for schools of nursing, a necessary pipeline for diversity within the profession to provide culturally competent and equitable healthcare." Echoing that sentiment, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing said this decision "has reversed decades of progress to ensure equal access to education for all," adding that they join "with the larger higher education community in denouncing this decision, which threatens the creation of more diverse and inclusive learning environments."

According to the 2022 National Nursing Workforce Study—of which OR Manager published a deep dive in July 2023—only "20% of RN respondents self-reported as a minority, which includes 'other' and 'two or more races.'" According to Fierce Healthcare, currently, 64% of practicing physicians in the US are White while 6.9% are Hispanic and  5.7% identify as Black or African American.


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