Earlier this year, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) developed the Leading Across Multidimensional Perspectives (LAMP) Culture and Climate Survey, citing an objective to “assess the experiences of diverse students, faculty, and staff” in schools of nursing. Do No Harm received a copy of the survey questions from an anonymous tip, and what we found is alarming.
Leaders of the University of Southern Maine (USM) School of Nursing asked its students, faculty, and staff to participate in the survey, which covers five topic areas: Perceptions of Culture and Climate; Fair Treatment and Observations of Discrimination; Belongingness; Value of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and Campus Services and Clinical Training. The data collected from the “thoughtful input” from these stakeholders is intended to determine what the schools need to do to “create an inclusive learning environment.” But, the questions reveal the AACN’s intention to perpetuate identity politics instead of concentrating on the quality of nursing education.
After asking for a rating on how “friendly, caring, rigorous, affordable, innovative, and safe” the USM School of Nursing is, respondents are asked to indicate how much they agree or disagree with statements such as:
- Subtle discrimination and microaggression may exist in the structure of the program
- The curriculum appropriately addresses racial and ethnic diversity
- Class discussions teach students tolerance and respect for different beliefs
Other questions address the participant’s level of agreement with statements about whether or not various identity groups are treated fairly at the USM School of Nursing.
The AACN survey does not ask if white students, faculty, or staff are treated fairly, but does want to know if “academic performance expectations are the same for Students of Color and white students.”
The Value of Diversity and Inclusion section begins by inquiring about the importance of promoting racial understanding and “enhancing the knowledge of and appreciation for” racial/ethnic and sexual orientation/gender identity groups and concludes by asking for a response to the statement, “My school should hire more faculty of Color.”
The survey ends with several demographic questions, including mandatory responses to “Do you identify as transgender?” and “What is your race/ethnicity?”
Why does the AACN have a need to know this information, and why is the USM School of Nursing asking students and faculty to participate? AACN claims to be “the national voice for academic nursing” while supporting professional nursing education. It is doing neither by conditioning nursing students to think of themselves and their peers as groups that are labeled according to identity instead of seeing them as individuals, which will inevitably be projected onto their future patients. The University of Southern Maine School of Nursing needs to instruct its students on how to be competent and caring nurses, not woke activists who are looking for bias and oppression in every encounter.
Laura Morgan is a registered nurse and is the program manager for Do No Harm.
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