An astounding lack of diversity in nursing - page 7

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   Sheri257
    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.
    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. 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...
    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.
    Just my opinion but, I think all of you guys are wrong.

    Being in California ... there were a lot of scholarships with minority preferences that I didn't qualify for. I do think there's a lot of minority money out there.

    However, as a white student with a 3.75 GPA I still managed to get $4,000 in scholarships with no strings attached. And there were other white students who got a lot more money than I did.

    Bottom Line: I think there's plenty of money for both minorities and non-minorities. I think it's more of a question of finding where your best shot is and focusing on areas that are most productive.

    Because there's lots of scholarships that you can apply for that you won't get no matter what color you are. The hard part, IMO, is finding the scholarships that you can get. They are out there, but they're not always easy to find.

    After applying for a bunch of scholarships and not getting any, I discovered that my school's scholarship drive was ultimately the most productive because they were local people who wanted to give money to local students. That's where I had the best shot and it did pay off.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Jan 31, '07
  2. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from TrudyRN
    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:
    I agree!

    I also think we need to work politically for more slots in nursing schools at all levels. Especially those leading to initial licensure.

    TheCommuter: I know a nice man, married to a nurse who comes frome one of the black "high class" Los Angeles families. He felt pressured to become an attorney. He hates his job but continues because it pays so well and is easy for him. It is really too bad because I think his family would support him in finding a lifes work he had some passion for.

    My uncle came home from WWII and started college on the GI Bill. He came home a couple hours later. My Aunt and Grandmother asked him if he was sick he said, "No. The teacher asked how we knew we wasn't dreaming. If education is listening to such foolishness it is not for me."
    Well he went to trade school, started a business, and made more money than many college graduates.

    gerry79: CONGRATULATIONS! You should be very proud of yourself. We nurses need to be very proud of our work. The science and art of nursing make our lives so very worthwhile.
  3. by   smk1
    nevermind, so not worth it.
    Last edit by smk1 on Jan 31, '07 : Reason: my own reasons
  4. by   MS._Jen_RN
    Quote from iceyspots
    But I'm thinking you have to get them interested in the first place! Interesting post.
    I didn't get to read all the posts, but I would have to agree witht the above statement. I wonder if norms in minority cultures are such that there is a stigma against men as caregivers greater than there is in the "mainstream". I welcome anyone who would make a good nurse reguardless of race, color or creed.
    ~Peace,
    Jen
  5. by   VegRN
    Quote from TheCommuter
    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.

    I had a very similar upbringing. I feel going to college has way more to do with socioeconomic status than race.
  6. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from VegRN
    I had a very similar upbringing. I feel going to college has way more to do with socioeconomic status than race.
    I agree strongly. My friend, also a black female, had a very different upbringing than me. She grew up in a middle-class household, attended private schools, and visited the hairstylist weekly. Both her parents were educated professionals (mother was a nurse and father had a BBA degree in addition to owning his own business). Therefore, she always grew up with the expectation that she would attend college since her parents had instilled in her the importance of an education. As expected, she graduated with a B.S. degree six years ago. In addition, her mother is supportive of her daughter's goals to continue her schooling.

    My upbringing was starkly different, as my parents were high school graduates with no college background. I grew up in a working-class household, attended lower-quality public schools, and spent plenty of time entertaining myself home alone as a latchkey child. College was not discussed in my home, and it was generally expected that I would get one of the "good" factory jobs in the industrial part of town. My high school grades were excellent and I had taken a mixture of college preparatory and honors classes, but higher education was not a real expectation with my parents.

    I have no choice but to motivate myself to attend school since no one else will motivate me. I think I have done a decent job of self-motivation thus far, as I received a 4.0 grade point average last semester after being out of the college setting for 5 years.
  7. by   Roy Fokker
    If I let 'minority/majority' perceptions and race issues affect me and my choice of career - well, what can I say... I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing today

    Those very folks who pointed out these "issues" when I started nursing school years ago are also the same ones who are clapping their hands and saying how "proud of me" they are today.

    Before, they thought I was "selling out". Now they want to make me an "example". I don't think their motive in either case had anything to do with my benefit... (and some of these people included members of my family).


    I love hearing someone tell me "you can't do it. You'll never make it"... it just makes me swing harder, if nothing else... just to prove 'em wrong for judging me not by my individual worth, but by their own prejudiced standards.


    Timothy,
    Nice argument about the desire of 'nursing profession' to reach out to under-represented populations. Made me ponder some...

    cheers,
    Roy (a "minority" of a "minority" of a "minority" in nursing. Those who know me in person know what I mean )
  8. by   ShemRN
    In my Pasadena, CA (Near NE Los Angeles) graduation nursing class of about 50, I think there was less than 10 White...and of all of our male nurses (maybe 7), only one was White.

    Of the hospitals we rotated to (in areas such as Glendale, Arcadia, Hollywood) RARELY did we see white nurses (Garfield Hospital, I didn't see one in any unit, as it was a hospital that primarily served Chinese and Hispanic population I suppose).
    The majority at most hospitals was Filipino. Except Garfield was majority Chinese, and at Kaiser in Hollywood, Black.

    Just depends on where you're coming from I guess.
  9. by   BertinaRN
    I would say diversity depends on where you are, the United States is diverse, but some towns, cities, and states may not have a vast amount of different cultures, races, and so on. Here in my town in southern Wisconsin my class mates are White, African American, Hispanic and Filipino, the majority are women, we only have one male in my Clinical course. So I would have to say that to look at diversity in our profession it can not be limited to the place that you work or receive your education from. Instead of looking at one particular place, maybe go to a Nursing Convention in your area, that is when the diversity of our chosen profession may show.
  10. by   ssi9699
    Thank you all for an honest and thought-provoking thread. I have a diverse past, but my present reality is my 3 teenagers are whites in a fairly affluent school system. I would say 1/3 of their classmates are affluent, the rest of us are too "rich" to get any assistance, too "poor" to be able to afford college without help.

    Anyway, my hospital is investing in local nursing programs to try to grow more nurses. Yet, the average age of nurses continues to advance. I still see a good deal of people going into nursing as a later option, not one fresh out of high school. Only about 2-3% of my high school senior's class are considering nursing.
    Students in our system are given vocational interest surveys several times throughout middle and high school. Usually, registered nurse is not even LISTED as a career choice. Nurse practitioners are, sometimes LPN/LVNs. Things like shoemakers and songwriters are.......RN? Not even an option. The one that I recall actually having RN as a career choice listed its requirements as 4 years of college.
    I really think that if my hospital wants to grow nurses, and grow them at a younger age, they need to make a presence in the middle schools, when children choose what path they will take in high school, and in high school, when they are choosing a college based on what type of majors they offer. Unless they have family in the nursing profession, I don't sense teens have any clue that nursing may be a viable option.
    I also feel that because many of the students are from affluent families, it would be looked as someone "wasting their abilities" by just being a nurse instead of getting a degree in something, anything else. Because we all know how EASY nursing programs are, right? Nursing is just too common, too ordinary. Yet, teaching, for all its problems, still is a very popular career path for these teens. And quite well accepted by their parents. Hmmm.
    I would like to see our school system develop a program to nurture health professions like they do cosmetology, teaching, and horticulture. To offer a program that ultimately results in a CNA certification and partial credit toward an ADN utilizing the many dual enrollment courses we have with the local comm. college (or an LPN program) would spark interest in nursing, even for those not taking the courses. At least they would have in the back of their minds that nursing IS an option, so you might want to choose a college with a nursing program in case you decide your bachelors in psychology or biology isn't as lucrative as you thought. My one voice didn't make a difference, my district spurned developing a program for health careers to institute a new one to prepare graduates to work in art museums, of all things.

    To comment on previous posts, I also heartily agree that having all of us go out to the youth and promote nursing to those with similar backgrounds, whether it be race, nationality, sex, economic status could very well be a case where one person CAN make a difference in many lives by presenting a viable option to many.
  11. by   HerbalGypsy
    Hi All,
    I am sure this was stated previously, geographical location impacts the diversity of the schools and hospitals. I attended a Community College to obtain my Associates degree and was one of 6 caucasian in a class of 32. The number of males was smaller, only 4. We came from many countries. Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ethiopia, the Carribean Islands, Russia, and various Asian countries. I am currently working in a DC hospital and the employee population is equally diverse. it is my understanding that we need more instructors to be able to increase the number of nursing students. And I feel we also need to think more of ourselves and to convey the excitement that led us into nursing to our young people. Look for Career Days at local high schools and volunteer to speak. I know how exhausted we are, but it is important to improve the image of nursing. It is an ongoing challenge, but I know nurses are up to it.
    Peace to all
  12. by   dansdoll
    The lack of diversity in nursing stems from lack of motivation. The image of nursing in the lay population is one of service, and that image is not desirable to many populations. Many laypeople also view the image of nursing as subserviant, also something not desireable to many population groups. There are many reasons that groups other than white females do not choose nursing, but I feel the most important is the image of nursing in the laypopulation as subserviant. Until nurses unite and bring the image of nursing up to a proffessional level and move it out of the nitengale image of servant, nursing will not appeal to a diverse workgroup.
  13. by   ExCorporateRN
    Good point "dansdoll". As I was going through nursing school people would ask me if I had to wipe butts. No one asked me if I gave an injection, did a physical assessment, started an IV, did nursing research projects, etc...

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