This October, I was privileged to attend the California Association of Colleges of Nursing conference. This year it was a virtual event. The focus was on serving our students by becoming informed about diverse populations. The Keynote speaker discussed white privilege and she gave some examples of things “white” people say that highlight their privilege.
- It is not my job to fix racism because I am not a racist.
- I don’t see color
- There’s no need to worry about the police if you’re not doing anything wrong
- I don’t want to post about racism on social media because I’m scared of the backlash.
She shared stories and discussed ways to help professors to be more effective by increasing our understanding of different cultures. It was also discussed that we as teachers need to prepare our nursing students to care for patients from these different diverse populations. How “racism leads to poor health outcomes” was also presented.
Besides ethnic differences, there were 3 speakers that were from different groups within the LGBTQ community that told stories of their experiences in education as well as their personal life. This conference was valuable to me as a professor as the more we can learn about how best to understand differences and how to serve our diverse population, the more effective we can be. I also want to make sure I’m helping students understand the diverse patient populations that nurses care for so they can serve the community more effectively.
In addition to the focus on diversity-related topics, the Board of Registered Nurses presented and discussed challenges teaching during the pandemic. This conference is an important event in nursing and brings together nursing leaders and educators throughout California. I was happy to be able to attend.