Drawing the Curtain

A Racial Equity Framework for Pediatric Professionals

Kia Ferrer, MS, CCLS, GC-C


Pediatr Nurs. 2021;47(3):149-155,148. 

In This Article


Recognition of the pervasiveness of racism in all its expressions – and the alternative or complementary competencies and compensations it promotes or causes – requires a very different type of diversity training for professionals working with children of color (Garcia Coll & Ferrer, 2021). Professional nursing training materials need to shift the curricula's theoretical orientation and include, as a core principle, education about the personal, institutional, and systemic racism that children of color and their families endure daily. In the meantime, those currently in the field can join their multidisciplinary teams in examining, acknowledging, embracing, and advocating toward a more racially aware and intentionally inclusive health care experience for children and families of all colors and backgrounds.

It is time for a re-orientation of pediatric nursing fields to partner with allied health professionals to optimize clinical care for children of color. We must collaborate, embrace, and become prepared to train new professionals to work equitably in a wider range of care settings and interdisciplinary frameworks. Implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of such frameworks can lead to individualized community standards of racially conscious practices (National Research Council, 2004). Collectively, pediatric professionals trained in identifying racial bias and its effects on child development can help health care disciplines propose a programmatic shift to better train future professionals and to better represent the growing need in care for children of color.