The Kentucky Board of Nursing is Requiring Implicit Bias Training as a Condition of Licensure
Yet another state is accusing its nurses of being racists.
Do No Harm received a tip about a mandate from the Kentucky Board of Nursing (KBN) to more than 100,000 RNs, LPNs, and advanced practice RNs. As a result of state regulations finalized in January, all licensed nurses in the state are required to complete a 90-minute continuing education course which informs them of how their patient care practices are impacted by “historical racism and other forms of invidious discrimination.”
The KBN directs licensees to the Kentucky Nurses Association (KNA) for its course titled Implicit Bias in Healthcare. The course curriculum, which can be accessed on the KNA mandatory continuing education information page, claims that “implicit bias is a public health crisis” while relying on the discredited Implicit Association Test (IAT) to measure the extent of a nurse’s bias. Incredibly, the KNA course declares that when nurses lack awareness of their implicit biases, it places their patients’ lives “in jeopardy,” and attributes “levels of oppression and racism” to “white supremacy.”
At the same time the KBN made its declaration to force nurses to participate in implicit bias training as a condition of licensure, the CEO of LeadingAge Kentucky reported to WTVQ, a local news outlet, that they are “looking for bodies” due to a critical nursing shortage. The deficit of qualified nurses was deemed to be so significant in December 2021 that Governor Andy Beshear declared it to be a state of emergency. Yet, the day after the WTVQ story was published, the KBN implemented the training mandate, which is an unavoidable prerequisite for nurses seeking employment in Kentucky to obtain a license.
The KBN is degrading the nursing profession and the tradition of trust between the public and nurses by implying they are too biased to provide safe care. Kentucky must dispose of this insulting requirement before its nursing shortage reaches a dangerous level of intensity.
If you are a nurse who is subject to this directive in Kentucky or are aware of a similar obligation in another state, please let us know.
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