I don't want to sound offensive, racist, or discriminatory in any way, but here it goes:
First and foremost, I don't think we should have to, "recruit" anyone into nursing simply for the sake of diversity. I love diversity, and I think that it's great, but I don't feel like the nursing profession should be out looking to recruit males, African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and other minority groups in the name of diversity (and I am a Caucasian male nursing student, so I speak as a minority in the nursing field). If minorities want to join the nursing profession, great, if not, okay. Our aim as nurses should be to ensure that we give our patients the best care possible. We should not focus on trying to recruit people to the profession based solely on gender, skin color, religion, etc.
Next, I do not feel that healthcare facilities hold African Americans and other minorities to some special standard when it comes to hiring. No hospital in their right mind would ever dream of holding a minority to a different standard than any other potential employee. With the NAACP, Affirmative Action, and other minority groups and laws, any hospital stupid enough to do something like that would soon find itself in more trouble than it would ever get out of.
I think that there is a shortage of African American nurses in critical care settings for two reasons. One: there are more Caucasian nurses than African American nurses to begin with, and, two: maybe a lot of African American nurses just don't want to work in critical care settings. Just like any other medical speciality, critical care isn't for everyone, and we can't all do it. I want to be a surgical/trauma ICU nurse when I graduate, but I know plenty of people in my class who would never do any critical care area no matter how much they were paid, or how good their benefits were.