Social Justice in Nursing Practice


Social justice is a concept that involves five main principles, including human rights, diversity, equity, access to resources, and participation. Social justice investigates how these rights are exhibited in people’s lives, intending to rectify inequalities based on age, gender, religion, and race, among other attributes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). Social justice entails providing high-quality care to all patients regardless of race, gender, social class, or race in a healthcare setting. It is pivotal to attain social justice in health care to ensure that everyone maintains wellness and health.

Access to health care can be affected by health inequalities such as education, socio-economic status, ethnicity, and employment. Healthcare administrators must beware of historically marginalized populations and those susceptible to healthcare inequality. Healthcare administrators can help these populations by advocating for their rights and creating tactical models of social justice. This essay focuses on equity in healthcare provision as one of the core principles of social justice.

Social Justice as a Basis for Nursing Practice of Nursing

Social justice is a fundamental nursing principle and the basis of public health. The ideology of social justice necessitates nurses to maintain humanistic, moral, and legal standards associated with health (The San Diego Foundation, 2020). Recently, both health and social inequalities across the globe have called attention to the significance of social justice and equity in health care. Hence, there is a great need to offer proper education to nurses, a prerequisite for making them ready to observe social justice in health systems (Zoucha, 2021). Each day, nurses are exposed to different contexts that pose health discrepancies and social inequalities (Giddens, 2015).

It is essential that nurses are not only fair but also unbiased when executing their duties. Supporting and promoting universal access to healthcare is one of the ethical responsibilities of nurses (Abu, 2020). Universal access to healthcare implies social benefits like the availability of culturally-competent healthcare professionals and prenatal care.

Nurses play a significant role in promoting health equity among diverse populations to ensure that each person gets the chance to attain optimal health—for instance, a healthcare facility charging patients contingent on their ability to pay. Furthermore, a patient who cannot pay can receive health care for free but receive the same quality as someone else who has paid. As advocates, nurses identify how a particular population is affected by disparities in the community. Furthermore, nurses regularly assess how health policies in a community are well-aimed at ensuring equity among the people and recommend changes to ascertain efficiency.

Social Diversity and Patient- and Family-Centered Care

The viewpoint of social justice on diversity acknowledges how people from various environments come together and generate an all-inclusive ethical setting. In nursing, diversity is essential because it creates opportunities to provide patients with high-quality care (Giger & Haddad, 2020). An institution with nurses who comprehend their patients’ religious and cultural beliefs, environment, customs, and other social beliefs is more capable of providing ultimate care than one that does not understand the diversity of its patients. In this case, all members of society, regardless of their race, social status, religion, gender, education, ethnicity, and age, receive the same healthcare treatment. Various social groups, such as the Lesbian Gays, Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community, get no medical care or are underserved in healthcare facilities. The lack of inclusion and diversity among healthcare professionals explains why these groups receive insufficient medical care.

Patient- and family-centered care is a strategy for planning and assessing health care based on concertedly beneficial agreement among families, healthcare providers, and patients. This approach reimagines healthcare relationships by positioning an insistence on working together with people from various backgrounds. In this case, families and patients have the opportunity to determine how they will take part in the care and the process of decision-making. The objective here is to enhance the health and welfare of both the family and the patient as they remain under control. The basis of this concept is the acknowledgment that all families and patients are crucial partners for high-quality care, research, policy development, safety initiatives, and training of healthcare providers.

From my nursing experience, I have witnessed the practical application of patient- and family-centered care from the institution I volunteered to work during the holiday. From this institution, patients have the right to choose the people to visit them and when they should see them. On the other hand, family members of the patients are given timely updates concerning the patient’s progress. Furthermore, the hospital’s maternity wing is fitted with postpartum rooms that can shelter the newborn, the mother, and family members 24 hours a day to enhance bonding.

Barriers to Providing Social Justice Care to a Diverse Population

As a specific kind of health difference associated with environmental, social, and economic disadvantage, health disparity is one of the barriers to providing social justice care. These are variations that negatively affect socially disadvantaged populations (Ndugga & Artiga, 2021). Health disparity is a social justice issue since each person has the due to receive optimal health despite their racial or ethnic recognition. In addition, the case minimizes the ability of given social groups to operate optimally in the community. For instance, a sick parent cannot provide for the children’s education, health insurance, and food, hence the unequal distribution of such resources in society.

The issue of racial inequality also impedes the provision of social justice care. Many states have a long history of racial prejudice and discrimination in all sectors, including health. Racial inequality affects the ability of a given group to access quality health care. The health care system in the United States is characterized by disparities that disproportionately affect marginalized groups such as African-Americans.

These discrepancies subscribe to lower health outcomes, differences in health insurance coverage, and unequal access to healthcare services among these marginalized populations. For instance, the Affordable Care Act has assisted in making sure that millions of Americans have insurance coverage. However, the insurance rate among African-Americans who are insured significantly reduced when this policy was implemented. Out of the 20 million Americans insured by the Affordable Care Act, only 2.8 million are African-Americans (Garrett & Gangopadhyaya, 2016). These statistics show social injustice in the region, propelled by racial inequality.

Recommendations for Providing Health Promotion Activities

Certain members of the community may have limited access to medical care due to their financial incapacity (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). Such aspects are also a hindrance to attaining social justice in the provision of healthcare. The problem requires collaboration from governments, the community, and healthcare institutions to promote healthy activities among the population. These stakeholders should therefore promote health equity among this population by offering low-cost medical services. Healthcare institutions should also take mobile health screenings to low-income earners as they may not access the hospitals due to transportation problems.


As seen in the paper, social justice in nursing aims at rectifying inequalities based on age, gender, religion, and race, among other attributes. The ideology of social justice necessitates nurses to maintain humanistic, moral, and legal standards associated with health. Some of the highlighted barriers to social justice in a healthcare setting are racial inequality and health disparity. Therefore, all the respective stakeholders, including the government, should play their role in promoting the core principles of social justice; human rights, diversity, equity, access to resources, and participation.


Abu, V. K. (2020). Let us be unequivocal about social justice in nursing. Nurse Education in Practice, 47, 102849. Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Social determinants of health. Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). The Dr. William ‘Bill’ Jenkins health equity lecture. Web.

Garrett, A. B., & Gangopadhyaya, A. (2016). Who gained health insurance coverage under the ACA, and where do they live? SSRN Papers. Web.

Giddens, J. F. (2021). Health disparities: Concepts for nursing practice (3rd ed.). Elsevier Health Sciences.

Giger, J. N., & Haddad, L. (2020). Transcultural nursing: Assessment and intervention (8th ed.). Elsevier.

Ngugga, N., & Artiga, S. (2021). Disparities in Health and Health Care: 5 key questions and answers. Kaiser Family Foundation. Web.

The San Diego Foundation. (2016). What is social justice. Web.

Zoucha, R. (2021). The culture of nursing. Transcultural Nursing Society – Many Cultures One World. Web.

Find out your order's cost