Empowering Nurses at the Bedside and in Business

Discrimination Complaints In Nursing School

Imagine you are a member of a minority who is being discriminated against at a nursing school that is costing you over $50,000.00 a year?

That is exactly what has been going on a Yale School of Nursing.  Who would have guessed that one of our most prestigious Ivy League universities would see a rise in racism complaints? See article.

Yale has a council called “Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Action, Solutions” (IDEAS) which created a 7-page list of demands.

The allegations included that a guest lecture about dermatology used hundreds of slides on how to identify dermatological conditions, no slides contained black skin.

Another complaint discussed that race can be a factor when it comes to certain diseases.  This is happening right now with the COVID virus although it does not know race.  COVID is an equal opportunity virus and how sick you will get is based on your underlying comorbidities.

In fact, the racism at Yale was so bad that the Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion resigned citing an “oppressive status quo.”

The former Director of Diversity stated that since the murder of George Floyd and the movements of global unrest that have followed, it has become abundantly clear that Yale has always been a dangerous place for black people to learn and work but even more dangerous place for us to speak out.”

I’m glad that those at Yale are speaking out and advising the school of their concerns.  They wrote a 7-page demand which includes public acknowledgment that racism is an act of violence and that the current anti-racism plan is inadequate by failing to address the real problem.

In full transparency, I realize now that I believe I was given certain assignments in my nursing career because of my race.  I have realized that recently because when you’re in the middle of it, it seems normal for which I apologize.  I have a lot to learn in this area.

It takes information like this to enlighten all of us about the problems that are happening in the world and what people of color are really experiencing.

I so appreciate the Yale nurses for taking a stand for equality and not just making it words on a page but to hopefully enact it and change the imbalance of power in the school of nursing and ultimately in our society as we are human beings on this planet regardless of the color of our skin.  Nursing school is hard enough, however dealing with discrimination makes it even harder.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter.  Let me know your comments below.



  1. Amy Anderson

    No slides contained black skin? Seems to me a nursing school doing its due diligence would recognize that nurses will care for patients of all skin colors, and therefore, would need to recognize different skin conditions on different shades. We have varying shades of white, yellow, red, brown, and black. Also we have those with freckles and other blemishes. Were other shades of color represented? Not sure this is a willful racist act or just plain ignorance on the nursing school’s part.
    You stated, “I believe I was given certain assignments in my nursing career because of my race.” What does that mean? Did your instructors intentionally not assign you to someone of color? Why would that happen? Did a patient of color not want a white nursing student? I’m just trying to understand. I went to IU School of Nursing and graduated in 1994. We all cared for people of color on many occasions. Patients were selected by their acuity level. Skin color was irrelevant as it should be.

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