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access, health, inequities, outcomes, social justice, vulnerable or marginalized groups



  1. Pauly, Bernadette M. PhD, RN
  2. MacKinnon, Karen PhD, RN
  3. Varcoe, Colleen PhD, RN


This article revisits and reaffirms Patricia Steven's earlier work on access to healthcare as an important arena for nursing action. Many of the conditions that affect access to healthcare, such as racism and oppression, also shape inequities in health outcomes. We propose a conceptualization of social justice that is consistent with addressing the conditions that influence health inequities. We also discuss the implications of a critical and feminist conception of social justice for nursing action, education, practice, research, and policy.