Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Oncology Nursing Leadership


For this episode of “The Vitals,” Aliènne Salleroli, MS, BSN, RN, OCN, discusses her research on equity, diversity, and inclusion in oncology nurse leadership.

When it comes to equity, diversity, and inclusion, institutions need to “walk before they can run,” according to Aliènne Salleroli, MS, BSN, RN, OCN, and in many cases, this means starting the conversation around these issues.

For this episode of The Vitals, Oncology Nursing News® spoke with Salleroli, who is an assistant patient services manager at Yale-New Haven Health Smilow Cancer Hospital, and cochair of the Yale New Haven Hospital Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Nursing Task Force. Earlier this year, Salleroli presented research on how racial diversity within oncology nursing is not enough to create lasting change—there needs to also be racial diversity within oncology nursing leadership to inspire positive outcomes. However, when it comes to making change on an individual level, the best thing that an oncology nurse leader can do is help initiate dialogue.

“We need to walk before we can run,” says Salleroli. “Before we start these enormous interventions, which are wonderful, we really need to lay down this foundation to put down some groundwork by making [equity, diversity, and inclusion] a part of everything that we do.”

Episode Highlights

“The results were quite interesting because they were not what I expected them to be: diversity alone will not increase positive outcomes. There also needed to be strong leadership as well [and] there needs to be a unified vision within the organization that will help support these changes and support diversity.” Time stamp (TS) 02:02

“Changing the paradigm of how we envision diversity was equally as important as how we implement the interventions themselves.” TS 02:24

“It's important for other nurses not only just to see that representation, but to have that representation, [this means] being able to create policies and interventions that are that directly impact nurses of color as well.” TS 04:40

“Diversity, equity inclusion should be thought of like quality and safety. It should stand alone on its own, but yet, every nurse should always have quality and safety on their mind with every single intervention that they do, they should always be thinking about quality and safety.” TS 10:53

“Systemic racism is a huge problem and a national health crisis. It is no different in oncology. We need to make sure that all of our bases are covered— that we view this with just as much importance as everything else that we do.” TS 13:51

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Salleroli A. Racial Diversity Within Oncology Healthcare Leadership Increases Positive Outcomes. Presented at: 47th Annual Oncology Nursing Society Congress; April 27-May 1, 2022; Anaheim, CA. Abstract P161.

Dotson E, Nuru-Jeter A. Setting the stage for a business case for leadership diversity in healthcare: history, research, and leverage. J Healthc Manag. 2012;57(1):35-46; discussion 45-46.

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