Dear Penn State Nursing community,
As we continue to navigate the numerous challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on fall semester, we must also address the racist social media posts that have been brought to our attention.
First and foremost, and without reservation, the Penn State College of Nursing condemns any and all racist and intolerant comments and actions. As caregivers and health care professionals, we understand that systemic oppression is a public health crisis and serves as a platform for injustice and discrimination.
As an academic college, and myself an ethicist, we prioritize the ANA’s Nursing Code of Ethics in our curriculum and very strongly believe nurses are among the most trustworthy and valiant individuals. It is unfortunate that the values and ethics taught in the classroom do not always result in lessons successfully learned for all students. The commentary of one does not reflect the views of all.
In the face of hateful comments, we unwaveringly defend our students of color and various ethnic or cultural backgrounds. These students are some of the best and are poised in taking the nursing profession to new heights. In such defense, we denounce the comments made by a former student. We must also clarify that this individual is not employed, and never has been employed, by the University or college.
As we move forward, we will continue to foster diversity and inclusion in our organization. We support the action steps set forth in President Barron’s recent message and believe this pivotal moment will result in a genuine change.
Laurie Badzek, LLM, JD, MS, RN, FNAP, FAAN
Dean and Professor
College of Nursing