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ANA Responds to SCOTUS Ruling Against Affirmative Action Programs

30 June 2023

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is appalled by the Supreme Court’s ruling against race conscious admissions. This detrimental decision will have unfortunate consequences and signals the continuation of systemic and structural racism which has inflicted generational discriminatory trauma in terms of lack of access and academic and professional advancement. Inevitably this decision will impact the admissions process for schools of nursing, a necessary pipeline for diversity within the profession to provide culturally competent and equitable health care. All members of society deserve an optimum environment for human flourishing. For equity to exist, equality must first exist. This ruling ignores the reality of inequality and discriminatory practices and policies.

Just last month, ANA issued a statement opposing legislation that would prohibit universities and institutions of higher learning from implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs. Affirmative action was intended to overcome the effects and impact of practices, policies, or barriers to equal opportunity and to achieve the full and fair participation of women, ethnic and minoritized people and individuals with disabilities. 

Race conscious admissions and affirmative action were intended to be a small part of a broader solution to mitigate harm which continues to be perpetuated on marginalized and disadvantaged groups. This ruling is a setback to decades of efforts to address harms, lack of access and inequality for professional opportunities and advancement. ANA will continue to call on Congress, policymakers, and health care leaders to reject any legislation or policy that seeks to reverse progression toward diversity, inclusion, equality, and equity. 

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About the American Nurses Association
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's more than 4 million registered nurses. ANA advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit

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