Kentucky requires nurses to take training on ‘structural racism’ and ‘white-splaining’

Kentucky requires nurses to take training on 'structural racism' and 'white-splaining'

The Kentucky Board of Nursing mandated nurses to take an ” implicit bias ” course to “recognize the history of racism in healthcare” and threatened “discipline” for failure to do so.

The ultimatum to complete the “mandatory continuing education” training, which was developed by the Kentucky Nurses Association , forced nurses to complete the training by July 1.


“They pretty much said we’re all guilty of being racist, and we need to examine the way that we take care of patients and change our behaviors because we are giving substandard care,” Rebecca Wall, a Kentucky certified registered nurse anesthetist with 40 years experience, told the Washington Examiner.

The training , presented by KNA Board of Directors Treasurer Arica Brandford and KNA CEO Delanor Manson, told nurses that “best intentions will not solve implicit bias in healthcare.”

“In order to lead to meaningful change, any exploration of implicit bias must be situated as part of a much larger conversation on racism and bias,” an opening slide of the presentation states.

Another slide showed a large picture of Ku Klux Klan members burning a cross.

“I had to make a decision at that point as to whether or not I was going to bite the bullet and agree with the assumption that they had that we were all racist,” Wall, who said she ultimately decided to complete the course, said. “It was a struggle professionally to decide whether or not to finish it.”

“It’s offensive to be told if you don’t do this course, you’re out after 40 years,” she continued. “A whole career spent in the field because you don’t agree to the one dogma: you’re done, you’re valueless, you’re not worth it anymore.”

Laura Morgan, a nurse of 39 years and program manager at the medical advocacy group Do No Harm, told the Washington Examiner that “discipline” could mean the non-renewal of a license.

KBN disputes that licenses were being threatened, telling the Washington Examiner that the implicit bias training is required by regulation “considered and passed” by a Kentucky General Assembly committee, adding, “failure to do it could result in a civil sanction or discipline.”

The training coincided with the licensure and license renewal period.

A diagram of “overt racism” and “covert racism” was included in one slide that suggests a white woman asking a black woman where she is from is “covert racism.”

Examples of “overt racism” include lynching, painting swastikas, and “public harassment of [persons of color] speaking other than English.”

“Covert racism” includes “white silence,” “denying institutional racism,” saying “there’s only one human race,” denying white privilege, “bootstrap theory,” “Eurocentric school curricula,” “weaponizing whiteness,” “fetishizing POC,” “claiming ‘reverse racism,'” “excusing/ ‘white-splaining’ racism,” and many more.

According to the training, racism can be a contributing factor in hypertension, maternal health, low birth weight and prematurity, heart disease, diabetes, increased body mass index, depression, anxiety, and stress.

“Perhaps it would be of value to research the effects of implicit bias in healthcare and the definition of implicit bias,” Manson told the Washington Examiner.

“I recommend you take [an] implicit bias class as required by the KBN and then ask questions,” she remarked. “All of your efforts could be enlightening.”

Morgan said the American Nurses Association, KNA’s parent organization, reoriented itself toward this ideology in 2020 due to the Black Lives Matter riots and the presidential terms of Ernest Grant from 2018 to 2022.

“He started taking the ANA on a sharp left turn,” Morgan said. The ANA issued a ” racial reckoning statement ” that “talks about all the permanent harm nurses have done throughout the years to their patients,” Morgan said.

Wall said the changes have ranged from requiring such “implicit bias” training to redefining words and forcing the use of other terminology, which she said is a “Marxist” tactic. She also said the changes make it harder for her to provide the proper level of care to patients.

“Everybody has their own unique needs, and you have to meet them where they are and speak to them where they’re at,” she explained. “That’s the real art. Help them through that journey, and you have to talk to them in terms that they understand.”

Wall said the people pushing the training are “academics entrenched in woke ideology.”

“So we hear from academic nurses who haven’t been on the floors or in the hospitals for decades, telling us how to do the job,” she added.


Wall penned a letter to the ANA in June to confront current president Jennifer Mensik Kennedy about the organization’s ideological shift but has not received a response.

The ANA did not respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.