Minnesota is rated as one of the healthiest states in the US. However, some studies have shown that there are great inequalities in the state’s health and social aspects, especially between the White, the colored people, American Indians as well as American Africans (Minnesota Department of Health.,2017). The Minnesota Department of Health has played a major role in providing opportunities and requirements of being healthy and healthy living. The department has comprehensively addressed health equity, structural racism and social determinants of health through large scale community partnerships as well as community engagements. Other ways in which the Minnesota Department of Health has addressed these issues include use of publications, coming up with Health Equity Centers and creating community awareness programs (Minnesota Department of Health).

The health assessments not only focus on the basic health outcomes, health behaviors and rates of diseases, but also focuses on the fundamentals that must be put in place for everyone to remain healthy (Ramaswamy & Kelly, 2015). Essentially, the health assessment highlights any factors or problem that persistently undermine chances for health and healthy living. Such factors include low income, racism, gender and geographical location among others. Evidently, structural racism and social class discrimination has affected the state of people’s health in Minnesota (Ramaswamy & Kelly). The health nurses can play a significant role in improving the health outcomes. Their ability to solve the racism and social class challenge in Minnesota health sector cannot be underestimated. This paper will describe the role of health nurses in improving the health outcomes as related to the Priority two i.e. places and systems are designed for health and well-being.

The Role of Health Nurses in Addressing Racism in Healthcare and Outcomes

According to Statewide Health Assessment, race and class can distinctively impact the health in Minnesota (Minnesota Department of Health.,2018). The socio-economic status is a product of factors like people’s income, standards of living as well as social classes. Studies have shown that the Hispanics, African Americans, and other colored people have been relegated to lower socio-economic status compared to the Whites. In essence, people’s races tend to affect their social classes and income (Eliason, 1999). However, it is important to consider the unique role of racism in Minnesota’s health. According to American Nurses Association (ANA), a health nurse must play a significant role in eliminating any form of segregation or discrimination associated with race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and gender in the attainment of quality health care to the community (Eliason). ANA has been in the forefront of setting up various policy initiatives that that are meant to eradicate any form of segregation and discrimination.

There is a lot of racial diversity in Minnesota state. About 83.3% of the population are Whites, 6.19% are Blacks, 4.75% are Asians while the rest of the population is composed of other races like Native Americans and Pacific Islanders (Minnesota Department of Health.,2018). Unfortunately, the racial composition has significantly shaped the health inequalities in the state. According to Priority 3: all can participate in decisions that shape the health and well-being, every one can play a role in promoting quality healthcare in Minnesota state (Minnesota Department of Health.,2018). The government, institutions, organizations and individuals have a direct impact on people’s health and their well-being. The priority also acknowledges that some people in the population have been marginalized by the American society. It is therefore important for the state to ensure that there is active participation all the parties in the process of setting up systems and decision making. Consequently, the set systems and the decision made will benefit the health and well-being of all the people within the state. People from all walks of life as well as communities, organizations, institutions and systems must unite to ensure that the decision-making processes are fair and just to all people (Ramaswamy & Kelly, 2015). Such processes will help in creating a healthy state. The health nurses have the power of significantly reducing racism in healthcare. Racism has devastating effects on health outcomes. Furthermore, there is a great correlation between the race and people’s level of income and education. For instance, research has shown that the maternal deaths among the African Americans women are three times higher than those among the White women (Eliason, 1999). The nurses are supposed to curb racism in healthcare and the devastating effects on people’s health. They are supposed to detect ay form of racism and avoid any detrimental effects on healthcare outcomes and medication.

One of the key conditions of Priority 3 is to ensure that the communities are just and violent-free (Minnesota Department of Health.,2018). The nurses must try and fight racial discrimination and injustices that are targeted towards a particular race. One of the indicators is spearheading the campaigns against racial violence, child maltreatment and racial bullying. In addition, the nurses can help in the recovery process of adults who have faced traumatic experiences due to racism. Moreover, the nurses can offer mental health support and medical care for victims of racism violence (Minnesota Department of Health.,2018). In addition, the nurses are supposed to administer healthcare services to all the members of the community without showing any form of discrimination or favoritism.

The second condition of Priority 3 is ensuring that the whole populations are engaged (Minnesota Department of Health.,2018). In essence, all the people, whether the sidelined or central can play a significant role in coming up with systems that enhance everyone to thrive in the community. The running systems as well as designed systems play a special role of shaping conditions that affect the health of members of the community. It is worth noting that marginalization leads to a significant decline in healthcare and people’s well-being. The nurses can get involved in civic education and community engagement programs against racism (Ramaswamy & Kelly, 2015). Furthermore, they can run a series of programs that enhance community collaboration like social connectedness. In addition, the staffing body and the American Nurse Association can advocate for the rights of all the members of the community as well as spearhead the fight against marginalization through fair recruitment process.

A Plan to Improve Quality and Affordable Healthcare

Coming up with a Community Reproductive Health Care Center. The program will be in line with Healthy Minnesota 2022 Priority 3; All can participate in decisions that shape health and well-being (Minnesota Department of Health.,2018). The Minnesota state government, organizations, institutions and the community at large must come up with Community Reproductive Health Care Center to address disparities in maternal health. Many African American women, and colored women have limited or no access to the very important reproductive health care. In essence, such women can hardly access services like contraception, reproductive cancer screenings, abortion and STI among others. Apparently, low income and a number of restrictions have undermined reproductive health care among the minorities in Minnesota.

Putting up a well-equipped community reproductive health care center might require about US$800,000. The budget will cater for putting up the infrastructure, machines as well as equip the center with the necessary equipment. Furthermore, the center will require professional staff to administer the required reproductive healthcare services. The role of the nurses in the center will be indispensable. The nurses will be required to offer their services with impartiality. Further, the nurses will be expected to intentionally carry out anti-racism campaigns in order to encourage the Black and minority women to access the reproductive health care services.

Research shows that majority of the African American women do not have access to contraceptives. Therefore, they are vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies (Eliason, 1999). The unplanned pregnancies and lead to negative health outcomes like low birth weights and miscarriages due to lack of proper prenatal care. The Community Reproductive Health Care Center will offer affordable reproductive healthcare like contraceptives that greatly educe the chances for unplanned pregnancies.

Impact of Attitude, Values and Beliefs on The Community Reproductive Health Care

There has been a popular belief among the Black community that bearing more children can significantly reduce the racism in the US. Consequently, they shy off from using contraceptives so that they can gain dominance over the rest of the races through numbers (Ramaswamy & Kelly, 2015). Furthermore, these women have joined religions that discourage family planning. Such beliefs might undermine the essence of putting up the Community Reproductive Health Care in Minnesota.


The Blacks and other minority races in Minnesota have been receiving low quality healthcare and at times, the health outcomes are devastating. Nurses must appreciate that they have the potential of spreading biasness and discriminatory practices either consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, they must practice impartiality and inclusion of every person through eradicating any form of disparities as well as providing quality healthcare (Ramaswamy & Kelly, 2015).


Eliason, M. (1999). Nursing’s Role In Racism And African American Women’s Health. Health Care For Women International, 20(2), 209-219.

Minnesota Department of Health. (2017). 2017 Minnesota statewide health assessment. [PDF file]. Retrieved from

Minnesota Department of Health. (2018). Healthy Minnesota 2022 statewide health improvement framework [PDF file]. Retrieved from

Ramaswamy, M., & Kelly, P. (2015). Institutional Racism as a Critical Social Determinant of Health. Public Health Nursing, 32(4), 285-286.


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