SILVER SPRING, MD – The behavior demonstrated by a white Nurse Practitioner (NP) at the Philadelphia Pregnancy Center towards an expectant Black mother in a widely shared video was unethical, unprofessional, and unacceptable. In a video recording from October 7, the NP was verbally disrespectful, aggressive, and accusatory, minimizing the patient’s dignity, integrity, and humanity. The NP’s behavior failed to adhere to basic nursing tenets including alleviating pain and providing nonjudgmental care. At its foundation, nursing must provide respectful and individualized care to all patients regardless of the patient’s personal characteristics, values, or beliefs. This is an ethical obligation for all nurses.
Black women are particularly vulnerable within the US health care system. These types of incidents highlight the bias, violence, and incivility that many expectant Black mothers experience. According to the CDC, Black women are nearly three times more likely than white women to die from maternal complications. The maternal health crisis for Black women far exceeds any other group. Contributing to this crisis are providers not listening to Black women because of bias and racism.
Nonjudgmental care requires that nurses recognize and manage biases that can be harmful to the nurse-patient relationship. The American Nurses Association and the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association strongly support bias education and encourage deep reflection to understand how personal experiences and backgrounds influence our nursing practice.
About the American Nurses Association
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation’s 4.3 million registered nurses. ANA advances the nursing 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 healthcare issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of healthcare for all. For more information, visit nursingworld.org.
About the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association
The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA) is Pennsylvania’s leading professional nursing organization. Representing more than 228,000 professional nurses, PSNA leads, advocates, educates and connects with RNs across the Commonwealth. PSNA is a constituent member of the American Nurses Association.