By Janiece Taylor, PhD, RN
I will tell you what diversity is not:
It is not a university issue alone, or a School of Nursing issue alone, the Dean’s issue, or a box or a checklist.
It is an issue that is essential for each individual who has decided to pursue a career in nursing. It is my responsibility as faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.
When you are first born, you are usually around your family and those who are similar to you. However, whether it be your first day of day care, school, or even your first time at the grocery store, you quickly learn that there are others outside of your own sphere of influence.
Many experts would say that signs of healthy development of a child would consist of them engaging and playing with others even if they are different.
As you approach your career as nurses, I encourage you to think about taking a similar journey as you begin your trajectory into our profession.
Be open to learning from those who not only look different than you but who don’t share the same culture or beliefs or even political stance as you. Be open to learn from others and look outside your sphere of influence as you shape your career.
Remember that sickness sees no color, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, so you will encounter many diverse patients as you embark on this journey. A good nurse will ALWAYS embrace diversity and never run from it.
My final thought for you as you step into the field of nursing, not just anywhere but at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, comes directly from our website: Here, “We recognize that the responsibility for diversity and inclusion lies with all of us.”
Janiece Taylor, PhD, RN, is an assistant professor and a developing researcher (“I consider myself so new in the area of pain research”) at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Read What Nurses Need to Know for Taylor’s take on that important area of research.