Health and Racial Equity

The National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) is dedicated to creating better outcomes for premature babies and their families. Aware of the statistics concerning racially related health disparities for premature infants, NANN is dedicated to intentionally and thoughtfully including Health and Racial Equity as an organizational strategic pillar. Visit this page regularly for updates as we build out our strategic initiatives related to health and racial equity. Currently, the following resources are available for free to all neonatal nurses and APRNs on this topic.

2020 NANN Virtual Recorded Sessions

Ethical Considerations at the Edge of Viability: Perspective is Everything

Building upon the four principles of bioethics, Frank Xavier Placencia, MD MS, explores the different ethical considerations, with special attention to the principle of Justice. In this General Session from the conference, he also explores how perspective influences how we view the “truths” of prematurity.

Racial Disparities in Birth Outcomes: Considering the Environment Outside of the Hospital Walls

In the United States, NICUs are disproportionately populated by non-Hispanic black infants because of high preterm birth rates among black women. In this session from the 2020 APRN Summit, Heather Herson Burris, MD, challenges all of us to move outside of our hospital walls to consider factors beyond individual women’s control such as pollution and exposure to neighborhood violence that together may contribute to unequal chances at a healthy term birth. Heather also discusses how a societal movement will be required to address inequity that starts before an infant even takes a breath.

NANN Position Statement

Racial Disparities in the NICU

Racial Disparity Infographic

NANN’s Board of Directors reviews the statistics concerning racially-related health disparities for premature infants and includes nine recommendations for how to endorse healthcare equality for all infants in the NICU regardless of race, parental economic or educational status, or geographic area. Read the full position statement.

NANNcast Episode

Starting the Conversation: Racial Disparity in the NICU

In this episode of NANNcast, host Jill Beck sits down with NANN’s President, Joan Rikli, to discuss data relating to racial and health disparity in the NICU, steps NANN is taking to address racial disparity, and how nurses can drive change in their NICU. Jill and Joan are also joined by Nicole Dixon, Nurse Manager at Atrium Health, for an open, candid conversation on Nicole’s experience as an African-American NICU nurse. Listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts or your preferred podcast streaming platform.

NANN Statement on Racial Injustice

NANN believes in the equality of all human beings, despite race, gender, sexual identity, or creed. For too long, America has maintained a culture of racial disparity and we believe it is time for a change. Read NANN’s full statement to learn more on how the organization plans to address racial inequality moving forward.

NANN Statement on Asian American Racism

NANN condemns the violence and ongoing racism directed at Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. In alignment with our stance against health and racial inequities, we stand in support of all Asian members of the neonatal community and beyond. View NANN’s full statement on how the organization is dedicated to developing and implementing activities that promote equality.

September 2019 Editorial

Racial Disparities in NICUs: Not in My Unit?

In NANN’s September 2019 E-News, past-president Joan Rikli writes about racial inequalities in NICUs, including data found on health disparities in neonates and what actions can be taken to promote positive outcomes. Read the full September 2019 Board Update.

External Resources on Health and Racial Equity

American Journal of Nursing: Get Our House in Order

This webinar focuses on addressing steps nursing professionals can take to confront structural racism from within. The webinar recording is available for free viewing.

Advances in Neonatal Care: Becoming an Antiracist Neonatal Community

This journal article provides a summary of health inequities that exist within the perinatal/neonatal population and offers strategies for initiating conversations and improving health equity by challenging bias and increasing diversity. Read the full article today.

COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project

To achieve equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, we must ensure there is equitable information and dialogue across diverse communities that have been impacted by COVID-19. Read through the project’s Health Disparities in the Context of COVID-19 informational guide to further your knowledge on this topic.