In the November/ December edition of Nursing in Practice magazine we tackle the difficult subject of race.  

NIP 117 cover

Nursing in Practice reports that for many years, black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) nurses have suffered abuse or prejudice at work for years but have felt unable to speak up about.  

A Nursing in Practice survey of 40 primary care and community nurses found 28% had seen racist behaviour, prejudice or discrimination in their workplace in the last year. 

Two of the BAME respondents in the survey believed that the racism experienced by healthcare workers had worsened since the start of the pandemic.  

But our feature shows that nurses have started to speak up about how limits have been put on their careers over the years because of their race. They also describe the shocking words people have spoken to them over the years because of the colour of their skin. 

This year Covid-19 and the Black Live Matter movement have given BAME nurses the courage to speak up. BAME nurses have also been given a safe space to communicate through with the launch of the GPN BME network this year.  

Many BAME communities have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic, and this has pushed BAME nurses to say enough is enough. They are calling for a change in language and better education of colleagues to improve their working conditions.   

The conversation has started and, Nursing in Practice argues, that now needs to turn into action. Employers need to start looking at ways they can restructure the way they work so that their BAME staff are properly supported.