In April 2022 Gov. DeSantis signed legislation that aims to regulate how schools and businesses address race and gender. The law, which has become known as the “Stop WOKE Act,” prohibits workplace training or school instruction that teaches that individuals are “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously”; that people are privileged or oppressed based on race, gender, or national origin; or that a person “bears personal responsibility for and must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress” over actions committed in the past by members of the same race, gender, or national origin. The law says such trainings or lessons amount to discrimination (Reilly, 2022).
This type of paranoia warrants a response from professional nurses, particularly doctoral prepared nurses that our work does not teach that people and communities are inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive. We do believe that people bear personal responsibility to counter these notions and infuse these tenets of health care and nursing care into all that we do.
If we, as doctoral prepared nurses bow to the mandates of being quiet for fear of a perception of discrimination, we are no being true to ourselves, our profession, and our patients and the systems in which we work.
With that in mind we promote the use of open mindedness, clarity, honesty, and integrity in all of our communications. We do not dislike those with opposing points of view, but instead recognize them and work to balance our approach to continue to improve the health of individuals, organizations, and communities.
The foundations of an anti-woke act is racism. We do not abide by this foundation of action and seek to reach others to counter these out dated and polarizing thoughts.