Resumes and job historíes are a bunch of bullshit. Now work experience is important but the idea that resumes aren’t fabricated is laughable. We've seen the debacle of NYS Republican Representative George Santos and his shady resume, past, and even shadier ethics and morals. One can list their job histories but what about experience? I have a lot of work history and experience to back it up. But I’ve never been asked in these interviews how would I manage hypertension, a new diabetic, or treat an elevated potassium. To explain my history, I’ve been a habitual job jumper. If it’s not right, I take flight. And in interviews I find the focus is consistently on the length of time I was at a place and why I left.
Black nurses struggle with finding their footing. Many Black nurses have had to be able to initiate a lot of “work arounds”. We work around racism, we work around supremacy, and we work around the idea that we are an “affirmative action” entry. Affirmative action isn’t just for Black people, it has been beneficial for White women, look up the statistics because this is not the debate nor my point. Black nurses, we have to contend with the perception of lack of “loyalty” to an employer because we don’t stay. My resume is a CVS receipt! I have had to make many moves to find my entrance in to predominantly white spaces. We are especially locked out of soeciality spaces that are "gate kept"; ICU,NICU, even labor/ delivery. Even with the world knowing Black mothers face the highest mortality rates, labor and delivery is another area disparity exists. Often we leave jobs for opportunity or uncomfortablity.
Black nurses jumping from job to job in many cases is because if we are not comfortable we CAN’T stay. We can’t stay in a space where the slightest infraction can be magnified at the discretion of the power dynamic. And in most cases the power dynamic is White or panders to White supremacy. What many White people assume is that ALL Black people know each other, have some connection with one another, and that we have no foundation of integrity and will uphold nonsense. Yet, White administrators do it all the time. But there’s the supremacy, THEY can but WE can’t. I’ve seen administrations cover up mistakes at their whim and discretion yet the most minute error is magnified when there is a Black face behind the infraction. I guess you can say I know where some bodies are buried. But that didn’t stop me from leaving jobs.
With this “racial reckoning” that the ANA has spoken about, even apologized for, there should also be a heightened awareness that Black nurses have faced extreme retaliation and more censure than our White counterparts. We have been misrepresented, revoked, and retaliated against very much to our detriment, reputation, and at the risk of our mental health.
No one ever thinks that Black people suffer because of racism. There is no thought to the anxiety, stress, and heightened awareness that we have when we work in a volatile work environment. And you can take out “nurse” and substitute any profession and it’s the same story, same outcomes. No one considers that with Black women becoming the most degreed sect of the population, the more we level up, the different levels of resentment we’ll face leaving us vulnerable to retaliation and suppression.
We are talking about race, we are talking about inequities, but are we considering it in terms of work history and experience? A resume which is what? A list of places that we've been but not a detailed account of what we've faced and encountered and why we left.