We must be more aware and more mindful in addressing the diversity of our profession.
To the members of the Virginia Board of Nursing,
I am a nurse historian affiliated with the Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry at the University of Virginia. This idea of “foreignness” has permeated the histories of immigration and Asian Americans, and I have witnessed this concept and feeling countless times through my research examining the diaspora of Filipino nurses throughout the 20th century, which includes myself.
The use of the word "foreign" to describe another person signifies a difference and a sense of not belonging. Thus, the language itself is outdated, ostracizing, and xenophobic, especially in today's sociopolitical climate. Presently, the majority of internationally educated nurses arriving to the US are from the Philippines, India, Nigeria, China, and South Korea. The diversity they bring to the workforce and the indiscriminate care they provide to our loved ones should be celebrated.
I am tired of history's repetition, and I want to make strides toward a culture where we all belong. So please consider amending the policy to make a more inclusive environment for all our nurses.