An astounding lack of diversity in nursing - page 6

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   sunnyjohn
    Just a tidbit of information-

    The most of scholarships listed on minoritynurse.com are NOT exclusively for minorities. Most are not administered by minoritynurse.com but by outside groups. If you contact those same groups, they can provide you with a list of scholarships they offer.

    The site itself administers only one scholarship which is open to African Americans, Latinos/Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Native Americans/ Alaska natives and Filipinos.

    I think most would admit that Filipinos sure are well represented in US nursing.
  2. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from sunnyjohn
    I think most would admit that Filipinos sure are well represented in US nursing.
    While I agree, let me suggest that, in the original demographics I posted, since Filipinos are represented under the 3.5% Asian demographics, there goes the argument that all our jobs are being 'farmed in'.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Feb 2, '07
  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I am an African-American female who recently paid off over $20,000 in student loans. The plethora of race-based scholarships does not truly exist. The largest scholarship award I have received in my lifetime was $350.00 and it was not race-based.

    I, too, am currently paying for my classes with my hard-earned dollars. Please stop spinning these bigotry-dusted inaccuracies.
    My experience was that LVN school was much more difficult than either my ADN program or the BSN program I later attended.
    In LVN school we had classes on Monday. The Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday a pre conference befor working the entire 8 hour shift, next a post conference, and a long drive home. We were expected to do elaborate care plans, read chapters for upcoming material, and study for a Friday test. We were in class 7 hours on Friday.

    I believe anyone who earned their LVN in such a program can become an RN if they are motivated.

    I agree with NRSKarenRN that hospitals could be using LPN/LVNs to improve patient care during the "shortage".
    I also think active recruitment by RN colleagues to encourage LPNs to go on to their RN is so needed.
    Recently I took two wonderful youg women and their families to IHOP. The LVN is blace from a family of women who raised families on welfare. She is a charge nurse in a SNF and now attending nursing school. Although it is a community college and she has finished all pre requisites it takes a lot os planning and giving up sleep to support herself. She needs moral support so her pregnant again mother and many sinblings were invited to IHOP. I think her loving mother now has some understanding that this woman is not ready to have a baby. She knows she can't move back home because she would have no one who understand her need to study or to sleep.
    I think she will be a fine RN and asset to the profession.

    The other is the daughter of non English speakers. She is quite young and married with no children. Her husband was worried about the drop in income when she goes pert time in her job as a CNA to attend nursing school. She is now taking pre requisites and working full time. When I showed him their next five years with lower income for two then a BIG increase for the next three and foreseable future with ahis wife an RN he got it! He jokes that it would be his turn next.

    VegRN: Guilty here. My Dad is white but I just check "African American". I don't think my color was a disadvantage or advantage at the time I went to nursing school. If I had wanted to go right out of high school many schools had maximum quotas for blacks. Some didn't accept them at all.
  4. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from 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.
    My family has a similar background. Gramps was sent here at age 16 to escape the Russian army. Jewish boys were snatched by the Czar's army, often never to be heard from again. Their conscription lasted up to 30 years! Or until death, whichever came first. Gramps never saw his parents, homeland, or other family members again. Ever. Ever. He worked in this country as a tailor, a construction worker, whatever he could to support himself and the wife and children he eventually acquired. My grandmother was a homemaker/seamstress. She died so very young - only about 64. She and her family escaped Jew haters in Romania.

    On Dad's side, his father escaped Hitler in Austria by about 2 months. And his Mom and her family got out of Russia when her older brother was also facing the Czar's conscription/death sentence.

    My relatives have all done well here, despite the large and persistent doses of anti-Semitism (from name-calling and being kept out of public parks and some hospitals to physical altercations) they had to deal with. They worked like dogs, lived crammed into the Jewish ghetto, and eventually made successes of themselves. As Garden Dove said, no one recruited them for anything. They were not college-educated because they were too busy caring for children and making sure those kids had a decent education, too busy running the stores they acquired. My own father worked 6+ days every week, from 0900-1900 Mon-Fri and 09-21 on Saturday. He helped his brother in the brother's business on Sundays and did his own bookkeeping, thereby taking about half a day on Sunday. We never had a family vacation, we all worked from age 16. Mine is the first generation to go to college. And no one recruited me for Nursing either. I just fell into it, basically.

    As for how to reach Hispanics, Asians, and Negroes to be nurses - the answer is really simple enough. We have to hold Career Days in their schools, we have to get with the leaders of their churches and mosques, we have to team up with the political and community leaders in their neighborhoods. There need to be TV and radio ads and ads in the magazines they read. And, of course, the best way would be for existing nurses who are among these groups to address their own people.

    Just for the record - I have worked with nurses of every race, religion, and political view, both genders and every sexual viewpoint, and from several countries - Haiti, Britain, South Africa, the Philippines, and Mexico. Most were great nurses - RN's, LPN's, NP's, anesthetists. There is room for and need for everyone. I just wish people would try to stop looking so much at race and other unrelated attributes and start focusing on character and skills. Hmm, seems to me someone said that already. I think his initials were MLK. I, too, have a dream - that one shining day we will all be able to just get along. Now peace, y'all.:spin: :blushkiss :smiletea2: :smiletea: :smilecoffeecup:
  5. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    1. WHY aren't more minorities desiring to pursue nursing? This is an important question and addresses cultural differences.
    Of course, I cannot speak for all African-Americans. I can only speak of my situation and growing-up years.

    I had a very large extended family during my childhood; however, none of my relatives were college graduates who could show me the ropes or provide guidance regarding higher education. I would estimate that at least a third of my relatives are high-school dropouts and the remaining ones are high school graduates. Luckily, I had a good high school guidance counselor and was accepted to three regional state universities.

    I ended up not going to the university after high school because my parents acted as obstructionists to my education. I personally think they suffered from a fear of the unknown. After all, they did not know what a credit hour was, didn't see the purpose of general education classes, and knew nothing about the road to obtaining a degree. They refused to cosign my student loans, so I had no other way to fund my schooling.

    In addition, I think my family's socioeconomic status affected their views on educational attainment. I was raised in a very working-class family of three (mom, dad, and me). My mother worked the production floor at a solar products factory for 25 years and my father bounced back and forth from steady jobs to odd jobs. The statistics indicate that the individual is more likely to attend college if their parents attended college. The reasoning is simple: parents who are college graduates know the value of education and will instill it into their offspring. If you are a first-generation college student (like me), your parents will generally be supportive if you decide to study law, medicine, or engineering. My parents believed that it would be a waste of my time if I became anything else than a lawyer.
  6. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from spacenurse
    I believe anyone who earned their LVN in such a program can become an RN if they are motivated.
    Absolutely. The issue isn't one of reality, but perception.

    It seems that more minorities THINK they have a better chance at becoming an LVN/LPN because the demographics starkly point out that being an RN is more difficult for minorities.

    And so, perception becomes reality. In this case, though, I agree with you: it's a distorted reality.

    Having been both an LPN and an RN, if you can do the one, you can do the other. That might not be universal, but I bet it's close.

    As Commuter points out, how much is the difference that becoming an LVN/LPN means not having to fully enter the unfamiliar territory of pre-reqs and general college credit? Maybe it's not as much an issue of ability as it is experience and guidance.

    Two of the best nurses I have met over the years were both LVNs with years of experience and both minorities. The concept of seeking an RN was almost foreign to them, as far as I can tell. That's a shame, because they were both grossly underpaid for the value they gave their organizations. Then again, what LVN/LPN isn't?

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Jan 31, '07
  7. by   SharonH, RN
    Out of all the replies in this thread, only MLOS has come close to identifying why some minorities MIGHT not push their children into nursing:

    Quote from MLOS
    On an entirely different note, I have heard more than once from African-Americal parents that they would not encourage their children to pursue nursing. As we have frequently discussed here, nursing sometimes has an image problem among lay people: they focus on the perception of nurses as simply the assistants of doctors, and on the physical, "dirty" aspects of the job. Some minorities may well wish to put a great deal of distance between themselves and any career choice that could even remotely resemble the limited choice of dirty, menial jobs of the past.

    Personally I don't care that nursing doesn't recruit more minorities. Those who are interested will pursue this field and they do. It's that simple. When nursing is more attractive to the general population, it will become more popular with minorities. As far as I know, there is no widespread perception among minorities that we are excluded from this field. As it has already been pointed out, the demographics of the nursing population will reflect the population of the people living there. Here in Atlanta, there are a lot of us. When I lived in El Paso, most of the nursing staff and administration were Mexican-American just like in the city.
  8. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from SharonH, RN
    Here in Atlanta, there are a lot of us.
    On a completely off topic note, I'm hoping to come visit your fair city for the annual Amer Assoc of Critical Care Nurse's NTI conference in May.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  9. by   Huscarl73
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I am an African-American female who

    I, too, am currently paying for my classes with my hard-earned dollars. Please stop spinning these bigotry-dusted inaccuracies.
    And now we've done a full circle. I agree, and I don't want to see it coming my way either. I come from a broken family, I was thirteen years old buying, doing and selling drugs at 3am with nobody out combing the streets looking for me. I spent my time in state custody because there wasn't any family members to look after me. I've been released from the same custody at the age of 18 with a bus ticket and the clothes on my back. I've gone to sleep in and woken up in alleys. I've been 18 eating my meals at charities because I didn't have anywhere else to be. I've spent additional nights in jail based upon nothing but the way I looked and the length of my hair.

    The 'Happy Days' are long gone, I wasn't alive then and I didn't live there and I will not acknowledge owing any debts based upon ethnicity. The only debt that I will acknowledge is to see that my children do not go through this and it's not going to be because they have activists for caucasian equality spending millions of dollars soliciting congress to create affirmitive action for them.

    If we want to talk about addressing this countried 50% plus divorce rate we can find common ground there. If we want talk about seeing that children are secure and well educated we can find common ground there. If we want to say that we as a society need to supply this based upon nothing but ethnicity we're gonna have to disagree.
  10. by   gerry79
    [QUOTE=MLOS;2039957]My few random thoughts:


    On an entirely different note, I have heard more than once from African-Americal parents that they would not encourage their children to pursue nursing. As we have frequently discussed here, nursing sometimes has an image problem among lay people: they focus on the perception of nurses as simply the assistants of doctors, and on the physical, "dirty" aspects of the job. Some minorities may well wish to put a great deal of distance between themselves and any career choice that could even remotely resemble the limited choice of dirty, menial jobs of the past.


    Although nursing may remind minorities of the subserviant career choices their parents or grandparents where forced to embark on, I feel that education plays a major role in the absence of minorities in any health care related career. Minorities score significantly lower in math and science than do their non minority counterparts. And math and science are needed for most advanced health care careers. I say advanced because, at least in my area, minorities make up the majority of the CNA positions which do not require a heavy math or science background for entry. That said I am starting to see more minority women entering the nursing profession with asperations of becoming advanced practitioners.

    I being an African American male wanted desperately to persue nursing as a career. The big obsticle blocking my path for many years were the prerequisite science and math classes needed for entry. I conquered my fear of both subjects and completed nursing school three weeks ago. Speaking for myself, I thought that I would never be able to pass chemestry or algebra and shyed away from school for almost 20 years before realizing that I was just as capable of passing as any one else.

    I cant say that I was a product of my school system or environment as I had educated parents, attended good schools, and lived in an upper middle class neighborhood in my youth. I just took the path of least resistance to finish high school and never wanted to be challenged academically. Until we are not ostracized for getting good grades, shunned for speaking proper english, and being called a sellout for enjoying education, which is so prevelent in the minority (African American) community, there will be few if any minority representation in any advanced healthcare career.
  11. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from gerry79
    Until we are not ostracized for getting good grades, shunned for speaking proper english, and being called a sellout for enjoying education, which is so prevelent in the minority (African American) community, there will be few if any minority representation in any advanced healthcare career.
    This is unfortunately true. I cannot count the number of times I was told by my black classmates and relatives that I was 'acting white' for carrying books, speaking proper English, earning good grades, and studying too much. My parents still wonder why I am enrolled in science courses. One time my father queried, "What type of job will a science class get you?"
  12. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from TheCommuter
    This is unfortunately true. I cannot count the number of times I was told by my black classmates and relatives that I was 'acting white' for carrying books, speaking proper English, earning good grades, and studying too much. My parents still wonder why I am enrolled in science courses. One time my father queried, "What type of job will a science class get you?"
    This is a fascinating thread . . . thanks to everyone for their perspectives.


    steph
  13. by   SillyLilly
    At my nursing job, day shift, we have 3 'white' nurses-one is a polish immigrant. The other nurses include, an immigrant from Columbia, 3 immigrants from India, a n immigrant Mexican, immigrant Korean, and 2 immigrant Filipinos. Our ancillary staff is mostly African American, which is representative of the work force in the area.

    Diverse, right?

    Also, in my nursing school graduating class, we had several immigrants, who came here just for nursing school/opportunities in the US. (some didnt even care to be nurses, they just knew this was an opportunity for a job).

    We do not have many 2nd or 3rd generation minorities as nurses in my hospital (and have very few males). We also did not have many 2nd or 3rd generation minorities in my school either.

    Basically I am saying from my experiences, even though I have been involved with diverse groups of people, I have not seen many American born minorities as a fellow nurses in schools or at my place of employment.

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