On The Pulse: Heavy Reading

Sydnee Logan
By Sydnee Logan  | 
On The Pulse: Heavy Reading

Racism and prejudice are products of reproduction.

Dr. Rita D’Aoust


So much of oppression—LGBTQI+ prejudice as well as racism—is quiet and structural. That’s why a working group at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is systematically evaluating how the MSN (Entry into Nursing) program’s required textbooks present and rationalize the health of underrepresented racial, ethnic, and LGBTQI+ groups. They are nearing completion, with three of 14 textbooks remaining. This panel includes students and faculty involved in the review discussing the process and why it matters.

Heavy Reading: read about the review and the workgroup’s findings.

Workgroup Two: Assessing Teaching and Learning Processes and Practices of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing’s Committee on Teaching and Learning as Pathway to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.


You can also watch the event and see comments on Facebook.


Key Takeaways:

A lot of texts are inconsistent, with an affirming caregiving approach on one page and omissive or oppressive language on the next. But there were some bright spots: our gerontology textbooks had a holistic view of sexuality.

Meredith Klepper, PhD student

Last year we identified particularly harmful language and made research faculty aware of it. The course was already under way and the book in use, but faculty were able to provide a disclaimer for this course and in any other syllabi it was required for.

What’s more, Dr. JoAnne Silbert-Flagg approached student leaders for recommendations for improved childbearing textbooks and we were able to give her a long list.

Angie Deng, MSN (Entry Into Nursing) graduate, 2021

We need to push back on publishers and editors as well. In many cases there actually is a surcharge to use a stock image of a nonwhite patient.

Dr. Rita D’Aoust

We put a lot of emphasis on “this is the script” with little room for individualization [when interacting with individual patients and asking their pronouns].

Carissa Lawrence, PhD student

We must continue to increase faculty diversity and deliver faculty better tools. Many want better and are working toward it.

Dr. Mona Shattell

From the comments:

Consider supplementing omissive or outdated textbooks with current peer reviewed literature.

You can use a patient’s name or a gender neutral pronoun if they don’t want you to use a pronoun.



Ruth-Alma Turkson-Ocran, PhD, MPH, RN, FNP-BC

Ruth-Alma Turkson-Ocran she/her is an American Heart Association Strategically Focused Obesity Research Network postdoctoral research fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She is also a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner. Prior to receiving a PhD from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, she received a Master’s in Nursing (MSN) and Master’s in Public Health (MPH) in Health Promotion/Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). She is also a graduate of Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO where she obtained her Associate and Bachelor of Science degrees in Nursing. She is a member of Sigma Nursing, the Preventative Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA), and the American Heart Association (AHA). She was a member of the Race and Ethnicity team and contributed to the textbook review and book chapter on anti-racist pedagogy.

Angie Deng, MSN – Moderator

Angie Deng (she/her) is a May 2021 graduate of the JHSON MSN (Entry Into Nursing) program. She was the Student Chair of the JHSON LGBTQI+ Health Initiative, a student organization aiming to improve nursing education in LGBTQI+ health. She presented at the Association of Community Health Nursing Educators’ annual Institute conference earlier this month. Angie earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University in 2019.

Meredith Klepper, MS, RN, CPN

Meredith Klepper they/them is a first-year PhD student at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing with a broad interest in LGBTQI+ nursing care and more specifically, social support for transgender youth and its effect on mental health. Meredith is the Student Chair of the JHSON LGBTQI+ Health Initiative (LHI) and they recently received a small grant from the Association of Community Health Educators (ACHNE) for the LHI to create faculty training videos for inclusion of LGBTQI+ related content in nursing curricula at JHSON.

Carissa Lawrence, CNM, WHNP-BC

Carissa Lawrence, she/her is a first-year PhD student at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. She recently published op-ed “Vaccine hesitancy is no excuse for systemic racism” for the Hastings Center.  Her interests lie in health equity, racism, and health advocacy.  Currently, she is working to improve access to care for queer, non-binary, gender non-conforming individuals.

Mona Shattell, PHD, RN, FAAN

Mona Shattell she/her supports the advancement and retention of faculty while furthering an environment of diversity, inclusion, and mentorship among the school’s teachers and academic leaders. An internationally recognized expert on inpatient mental health nursing, Dr. Shattell conducts research on patient-provider relationships, various environments of care, and underserved and vulnerable populations such as long-haul truckers. She holds a joint appointment in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering. She is an active social media user, content developer, and public thought leader. She has published op-eds in the New York Times and The Atlantic, among others. She is editor of the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services and the author of more than 150 journal articles and book chapters.


Rita Ferrari D’Aoust she/her is an expert in interprofessional education, community service, and providing access to care for vulnerable populations. Dr. D’Aoust has long made her mark where the business of education and health care intersect. She has led advances in curriculum and classroom technology that match an understanding of ways to construct learning with the philosophy of education and a mastery of financial issues in higher education. At the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, she continues to lead the development and implementation of innovative teaching and learning strategies.

Lea Marineau, MSN, ANP-BC

Lea Marineau she/her is a PhD candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Her dissertation research is focused on further understanding risk factors, including substance use, for recurrent assault related injury among adults in Baltimore, MD. She is board certified as an adult nurse practitioner and has worked in orthopaedic trauma and primary care. Prior to starting the PhD program, she received her MSN from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and her BSN from the University of Florida. She is a member of the Race and Ethnicity team and contributed to the textbook review and book chapter on anti-racist pedagogy.


Read more:

Sydnee Logan


Sydnee Logan, MA is the Sr. Social Media and Digital Content Specialist for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. She shares Hopkins Nurses with the world.

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