An astounding lack of diversity in nursing - page 2

I pasted my comment from another thread (above) into its own thread because I'm interested in why y'all think there is such a lack of diversity in nursing and what you think the solutions should be.... Read More

  1. by   Altra
    Quote from hope3456
    I personally thought the nsg program I was in was very discriminating in the name of 'high standards.'

    The way nsg school works, d/t the demanding schedules and academically intense courseload, caters to the more 'upper class' - a student who is more financially secure and has above average academic ability has a much better chance of making it.
    Would you make the same statement about medical school curricula? Are they being "discriminating in the name of high standards"?
  2. by   ZASHAGALKA
    double post, see below.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Jan 28, '07
  3. by   ZASHAGALKA
    The most glaring statistic (men in nursing aside) is this:

    Hispanics represent 14.5% of the gen pop but just over 2% of nursing.

    I don't think it's an issue of minorities being 'turned away' at the door, but how to get them interested and prepared enough to knock on the door in the first place. I think nursing has an image problem.

    I've never been known to be an advocate of 'affirmative action'. But I DO believe in affirmative access. How do you cast a wider net of interest? More to the point, are there institutional or societal barriers to that interest in the first place and how do you level those barriers?

    If minorities are not sufficiently interested in a job that the general pop now widely considers one with a decent income and job security, doesn't that merit the question, why?

    Shouldn't we examine the roots of this lack of diversity? And, it IS a problem. The schools might have waiting lists today, but tomorrow, nursing faces at least 4 major demographic hurdles: 1. Baby boom retirement, 2. Baby bust recruitment, 3. More opportunities available for all levels of employment generally, and 4. Changing national demographics.

    If the issue is one of interest or general competitiveness, can we afford to wait to address that until these demographics completely turn against us? It's not a matter of who is on our wait lists today. Who, if anybody, will be on them in 20 yrs?

    This is a problem, but it is mitigated by full schools and wait lists today. It's not a matter of how to displace whites with enough minorities on current wait lists to to be representative. It's a matter of how do we recruit for the future?

    See, I think nursing has a myopic view of a 'shortage'. We tend to think of the nursing shortage along the lines of 'How do we clear the wait lists'? But a much bigger shortage, created by much bigger demographical changes, is on the horizon. We'd better be thinking long term about how to ensure enough nurses or our jobs, by necessity, will be delegated down the chain to staff members that CAN be recruited in sufficient numbers.

    From a demographical perspective, an ever larger number of future recruits must come from minorities. THAT is where the numbers are. If those minorities are not interested in nursing, this looms as a big problem. Addressing that issue now might just turn out to be a critical issue of self-preservation, for all of us.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Jan 28, '07
  4. by   NRSKarenRN
    there has been recognition of lack of diversity in nursing by nursing leaders over the past 25 years. here are some of their efforts:

    national efforts:

    1998: ana addressing cultural diversity in profession
    nursingworld | tan jan/feb '98: diversity: a continuing challenge

    1999: ana advocates more diversity in nursing
    [color=#660000]
    [color=#660000]
    2004: ana review: institute of medicine report on workforce diversity ...
    [color=#660000]
    [color=#660000]nursingworld | ojin: the many faces of diversity | web references
    cultural diversity in nursing practice: ana position statement ... national institute of nursing research diversity programs and resources
    [color=#660000]
    decmber 2001, aacn: effective strategies for increasing diversity in nursing programs
    [color=#660000]
    2000: a national agenda for nursing workforce racial/ethnic diversity. national advisory council on nurse education and practice report to the secretary of health and human services and congress.
    [color=#660000]
    [color=#660000]
    [color=#660000]books:
    [color=#660000]
    [color=#660000]strategies for recruitment, retention and graduation of minority nurses in colleges of nursing
    [color=#660000]
    [color=#660000]
    [color=#660000]2002: [color=#660000]minority nurses in the new century
    edited by hattie bessent , edd, rn, faan

    a national survey of ethnic and racial minority nurses and a follow-up pilot project provide a wealth of data and insights for identifying and overcoming workplace barriers. these findings can contribute to diversity in the health care workforce by facilitating minority nurses in professional and leadership roles. 2002/96 pp.
    for free contact hours on this topic, see the ce independent study module disparities in health care and
    [color=#660000]
    [color=#660000]
    [color=#660000]welcome to minority fellowship program
    ...for nearly three decades, the mfp has aided ethnic nurses in attaining advanced degrees in mental health related areas. the two-fold intent is to expand and enhance the scientific knowledge of mental health care, and to provide quality culturally relevant care to a diverse group of individuals and families within the national and throughout the global community. since its inception in 1974, the program has nurtured more than 200 fellows, and these individuals now work in a variety of settings. they are leaders in research, clinical practice, public policy, administration, and community service... http://ana.org/emfp/about/


    legislation and funding:

    us code: title 42,part c--increasing nursing workforce diversity
    in carrying out subsection (a) of this section, the secretary shall take into consideration the recommendations of the first, second and third invitational congresses for minority nurse leaders on "caring for the emerging majority," in 1992, 1993 and 1997, and consult with nursing associations including the american nurses association, the national league for nursing, the american association of colleges of nursing, the national black nurses association, the national association of hispanic nurses, the association of asian american and pacific islander nurses, the native american indian and alaskan nurses association, and the national council of state boards of nursing. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/42...6---m000-.html


    nursing workforce diveristy programthe nursing workforce diversity program (nwdp) is a principal hrsa ... public health service act to increase nursing education opportunities for individuals ...
    bhpr.hrsa.gov/kidscareers/nursing_workforce.htm


    nursing workforce diversity grants (nwd)purpose, the purpose of the nursing workforce diversity (nwd) program is to provide federal funding for projects to increase nursing education opportunities

    2007: nwd budget justification-program description - the goal of the nursing workforce diversity program is to improve the diversity of the nursing workforce to meet the increasing need ...
    www.hrsa.gov/about/budgetjustification07/nursingworkforcediversity.htm




    individual state/facility efforts:

    penn nursing: diversity in education
    appointment of clifford jordan to teaching faculty, school of nursing, 1966 by dean dorothy mereness ...

    nov 06: nurse retention and workforce diversity in nyc--final report

    recruitment and retention of hispanic nursing students

    the california endowment - march 27, 2002 - central valley nursing ...

    national health foundation + calif. - nurse workforce presentation.ppt

    2007:
    the relationship between cultural competence education and ...
  5. by   Myxel67
    I work in Miami, FL. The area in general has a diverse population. On a telemetry floor you might find 3 Filipino nurses, 1 black from Haiti, 1,black from Jamaica, 1 African American, 1 Nigerian, 2 white females and 1 white male. Most Hispanic women interested in health care go to medical school!
  6. by   GardenDove
    My parents were poor, from Jewish immigrant families, and believe me, they weren't 'recruited' for anything but got where they did through hard work, inner drive, and by valueing education. They worked their way through college. They grew up in an era of blatent anti-Semitism, nothing like the politically correct age in which we now live.

    My father's father was a tailor whose parents came from Austria. His mother's parents came from Russia, escaping pogroms. My mother's paternal grandfather was the only survivor, along with one brother, of a massacre of Jews in Lithiunia, and they survived by hiding in a hayloft. Her mother came over from Hungary at age 3. All of their relatives left in Europe were sent to concentration camps.

    They grew up in the Great Depression in poverty. They and all of their siblings went to college in a time when not only was there no recruiting going on, but obstacles left and right. There was no office of minority affairs at their colleges to cater to their special needs. In spite of this, they and all of their families worked their way into positions of relative success. My mother ended up with a Masters in special ed, and my father was a math professor in a community college. They also were extremely thrifty and never wasted a dime on luxeries until they were well established in life. They played by the rules and succeeded.
  7. by   ExCorporateRN
    Probably a lot of the work needs to be done in junior high and high school in preparing the students to gain entry into a nursing program. My university had over 1000 applications for 76 spots. The selection process used only our grades.

    Really one of the bigger issues is that there are not enough instructors to help prepare nurses for the profession so we are getting a huge pool of denied applicants.

    What I also find frustrating is that I can not get a scholarship with my GPA (3.8) because I am white. If I do apply for a scholarship that I meet the requirements for, I am competing against 100s or 1000s of other students. There are so many scholarships that minority-based that it seems like reverse discrimination to me. So, I am borrowing up the wazoo to pay for my education and will spend many years & extra shifts to pay it off. There is plenty of struggles on my end as well.

    I am from a family of immigrants. They can to the U.S. unable to speak English and had only a few dollars in their pockets. They worked hard, saved, had goals, had a long-term vision and never stopped. They had a "whatever it takes" attitude. There were so many ways for them to fail but they kept their eye on the prize and prevailed.

    Timothy I think EVERYONE has some kind of barrier or frustration in trying to move ahead or make a change. You can chose to let these barriers beat you or ignore them and keep focused on your goals. You sound like you would be a great role model for young men who are interested in healthcare and would like to know more about the profession. One thing I found lacking when I was in high school is trying to determine a career path but having no exposure to a profession to know if I would really like it. Maybe you can set up a program to share with others your work and knowledge?
    Last edit by ExCorporateRN on Jan 28, '07
  8. by   Myxel67
    Quote from NurseDiva76
    While I agree that those are interesting statistics...your mileage may vary considering where you actually ARE.

    I live in a town that is predominantly (76%) African-American. It also has some of the best teaching hospitals in the south that recruit MD's from all over. There are several nursing schools within the city as well. At my facility, white female nurses are NOT the norm, except in the ED and L&D, (I haven't figured that one out yet?) We also have a large contingency of Filipino, Indian, and South African nurses, both male and female. The medical staff is wonderfully diverse as well.

    You would find several African-American male contemporaries in my hospital, although my experience so far is that almost every single one them I work with are using the ED and ICU as a stepping-stone to get their year of critical care experience before going to CRNA school, or PA school, or NP school.

    Now, I admit that most of the ancillary and support staff is African-American, but I simply think that reflects the makeup of the available job force in the city.

    I don't think that the numbers you report about the makeup of nurses have anything to do with 'recruitment' being broken, at least on the hospital end OR the nursing school end. With the nursing shortage today, hospitals are desperate to retain any student that the nursing schools put out, regardless of race. They are offering COMPLETE student loan repayment, plus sign-on bonuses at my facility to new grads who complete 2 years of employment. And nursing schools are actively recruiting anyone who has the GPA and the ambition to be a nurse. Unfortunately, in my city, the high school graduation rate is now at 42%. It has become even more dismal among African-American and Latino students. You can't hold nursing schools and hospitals responsible for the ethnic diversity (or lack thereof) of their students/nurses when the reality is they are simply taking what is available to them. The "broken system" goes a lot deeper and a lot further back than that.

    Sounds like you must live in Atlanta--one of my favorite cities.
  9. by   Simplepleasures
    Zashagalka, I agree with your premise, it is important to have all the ethnic groups represented equally in nursing, but since you dont approve of affirmative action and /or quotas, what would you suggest? I am kind of surprised you started this thread topic, sounds suspiciously liberal , strange for a nice seemingly conserative guy as yourself
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Jan 29, '07
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    If other states mirror mine the majority of LVN/LPNs are minority nurses. I think there should be tuition, stipend, mentoring programs to encourage and assist these nurses to earn their RN. And especially more "bridge" programs.

    It would improve the lack of diversity while lessenining the RN shortage at the same time.

    And these nurses have proven they can handle aspects of nursing many cannot.
  11. by   oramar
    Quote from scrubsnhugsRN
    Wow those are some interesting statistics, however I think since times are quickly changing and many people are coming to the age of maturity that are of mixed races (thirty years ago it was almost unheard of) you will see the statistics change. I personally think the census needs to reflect the fact that many people are are mixed and they don't, you have to choose one or the other when claiming race.

    I can only hope more male minorities will leap into nursing!
    I was thinking along this line myself. What is the make up of the people in nursing school right now and who have graduated in last 5 years? It is messing the results up when they ad in people in nursing for over 20 years. We know that most nurses were white women when I was a kid, we know why that was. What is the use of harping on the fact since it is obviously about to change.
  12. by   Huscarl73
    Quote from CorporateToRN
    What I also find frustrating is that I can not get a scholarship with my GPA (3.8) because I am white. If I do apply for a scholarship that I meet the requirements for, I am competing against 100s or 1000s of other students. There are so many scholarships that minority-based that it seems like reverse discrimination to me. So, I am borrowing up the wazoo to pay for my education and will spend many years & extra shifts to pay it off. There is plenty of struggles on my end as well.
    I'm going to have to agree with this. I have found a handfull of scholarships that are avaliable to me. I think without exception they are 'national' companies offering them to anyone. I can find page after page of scholarships avaliable based upon race and I don't have a problem with the idea of it. If some Indian tribes want to have scholarships for their children to go to school and then come back, no problem here. Beyond these few highly competitive programs I cannot find a single scholarship that will offset any of my education that doesn't come with terms I'm not willing to accept.
    This means that I'm paying for mine as I go out of pocket.

    Back to your regularly scheduled debate...
  13. by   SharonH, RN
    Quote from Huscarl73
    I'm going to have to agree with this. I have found a handfull of scholarships that are avaliable to me. I think without exception they are 'national' companies offering them to anyone. I can find page after page of scholarships avaliable based upon race and I don't have a problem with the idea of it.

    Page after page? I don't think so. Where? Where?! I just finished grad school and I only remember perhaps 1 or 2 scholarships that had race as a factor in the scholarship but it certainly was not the only requirement, income and gpa was also a factor. In fact, I did not qualify for any of them myself mainly because of income. So far, I've completed two degrees and I have yet to fall into this bonanza of minority scholarships that is presumed to be dropped into our laps. I have a student loan also plus I worked the entire time I was in graduate school.


    Please stop spreading falsehoods, they only perpetuate prejudices. NOW you may go back to your regularly scheduled debate.

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