The RCN has prepared a series of online events and resources for Black History Month, drawing on the expertise and experience of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) nursing staff across the UK.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the usual library talks and regional events have moved online. RCN East Midlands and North West will host Power, Voice and Influence, a celebration of the continued contribution of BAME nursing staff across health and social care, offering advice on professional development.
RCN Yorkshire and Humber will be running events on unconscious bias, developing BAME leaders, and workshops with a local storyteller who’ll help attendees bring their own stories to life. Journalist Henry Bonsu will chair a panel with RCN London, speaking to senior BAME nurses, including Dame Donna Kinnair, who’ll share their experiences and advice with student nurses.
The RCN is also launching Nursing Whilst Black, a new podcast series showcasing the diversity within nursing. Nurses, health care support workers and students, including former RCN President Dr Cecilia Akrisie Anim CBE, have shared their reflections. The podcasts also discuss ways we can all become better equipped to tackle racism within the nursing profession.
Meanwhile, RCN Library and Archives will host a companion event to close Black History Month, Nursing Whilst Black: Is History Still With Us? The panel will delve into the history of BAME leaders in nursing, from the early 20th century onwards.
The RCN also continues to work to protect and support BAME nursing staff, who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Our guidelines for employers detail their responsibilities, including conducting regular equality analyses to ensure the allocation of shifts and distribution of PPE does not disadvantage BAME staff.
Dame Donna Kinnair, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary, said: “We are delighted to share insight and inspiration from black nursing staff through our Black History Month events. It is also vital that our work to support and protect BAME nursing staff continues all year round, not just in the month of October, especially as we see cases of COVID-19 rising across the UK.
“We will continue to hold employers to account, ensuring that BAME nursing staff are well supported at work. All nursing staff must work together to recognise and eradicate systemic racism in our workplaces, so that BAME staff are treated equitably and can flourish in our profession.”