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Social Justice in Nursing Education

We are currently featuring the article byWhitney Thurman, MSN, RN and Megan Pfitzinger-Lippe, PhD, RN titled “Returning to the Profession’s Roots: Social Justice in Nursing Education for the 21st Century.” In this article, the authors build a strong case for redesigning nursing education to incorporate social justice concepts throughout the entire curriculum. The article is available at no cost while it is featured on the ANS website! Here is a message from the authors describing the evolution of their article:

We are honored to have our article selected as an Editor’s Pick. This article is a great example of how doctoral students can collaborate to transform in-class assignments into scholarly publications.

Whitney Thurman RN, MSN is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing (UTSoN) and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar. Megan Lippe PhD, MSN, RN received her doctorate from

Whitney Thurman

UTSoN in 2016 and is a 2014-2016 Jonas Scholar. During the first semester of the rigorous doctoral program at UTSoN, students complete a philosophy course taught by Dr. Lorraine Walker, a renowned and inspirational researcher and educator. As part of the class curriculum, students write a short paper about social justice in nursing. When Megan took the course, she explored the issue of social justice content integration within nursing programs. She subsequently presented a poster on this topic at a local nursing conference and hung the poster in the hallway of the nursing building to highlight her work. Several semesters later

Megan Pfitzinger-Lippe

Whitney began the doctoral program. Having been intrigued by the poster as she walked past it countless times, Whitney approached Megan to ask about her findings. Through a series of conversations, they discovered their similar passions and interests regarding the importance of social justice in nursing education. Instead of starting from scratch for her assignment, Whitney received permission from Dr. Walker to build on Megan’s original idea in order to expand and refine it into a manuscript for publication. Whitney took the original paper and added both a historical perspective and a public health lens to the work. After receiving a grade for the assignment from Dr.

Walker, Whitney and Megan continued to collaborate on revisions until it was ready for submission to ANS. This collaboration was an excellent learning experience and reinforced the idea that careful planning can result in class assignments that are readily transformed into manuscripts suitable for publication.


4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Thank you for this most recent call to action regarding integration of social justice concepts in pre-licensure curriculum. The concept of social justice was further elaborated in the revised 2015 Code of Ethics and discussed in great detail in Marsha Fowler’s updated Guide (2015) – however, I agree with the authors that curricular content needs to be specified and examples provided, perhaps in the upcoming revisions to the AACN Essentials (all three-BSN, MSN, and DNP). In that regard, I would be interested to know how the authors might envision building on the pre-licensure social justice student competencies in DNP or PhD curricula.

    I am including a link to a simulation exercise focused on recognition of the social determinants of health used in an accelerated BSN program. AACN (Colleges) aslo has a recent webinar on integrating these concepts in the curriculum.

    I am also a graduate of the Austin PhD program (2002)!

    Click to access povertysimulation.pdf

    June 12, 2017
  2. great challenge to nursing and nursing educators!

    June 13, 2017
  3. Megan Lippe #

    Thank you Dr. Robichaux for your emphasis on the Code of Ethics! You pose an interesting question regarding how we can extrapolate student competencies into graduate work. I think we need to consider the role of advanced practice and graduate nurses in addressing social justice within healthcare. From these role identifications, we can being to integrate expectations for practice into accreditation standards for graduate programs. Thank you for sharing the simulation with us. What an innovative way to highlight social justice in a dynamic way!

    August 17, 2017

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