African American, human suffering, nurse advocate, racial disparity, racism



  1. Harrison, Elizabeth PhD, RN
  2. Falco, Suzanne M. PhD, RN


This article reviews current research in health disparity in the delivery of care to African Americans. These studies provide powerful evidence that, even when controlling for differences related to access, insurance, and socioeconomic status, our healthcare system is deeply racist. While it is difficult to estimate the cost of racial bias in healthcare delivery, this article advances the notion that human suffering is the most significant consequence of racial disparity. Solutions include a renewed commitment to increasing cultural knowledge, a concerted effort to recognizing and studying racism, and creating a role for the community nurse advocate in correcting disparity.