An astounding lack of diversity in nursing - page 8

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   kidznurse
    Interesting to read this debate. I find it difficult to use the black/ white terminology as to call someone black here is considered insulting.
    In New Zealand nursing we had an under-representation of non European ethnicities. When I trained in 1980 there was a predominantly European female group of late teen school leavers with University Entrance level school qualifications . Now however, nursing is not a preferred option of such a group. They would prefer less taxing and more exotic jobs in law, media, or IT . There are now more older people applying for nurse education even into their 50's , more new immigrants with English as a second language (often with tertiary qualifications in their country of origin eg China) and a few more Pacific Island and indiginous Maori. Nursing is becoming a less desirable career for the white middle classes. The demographics and the culture of nursing are therefore changing. The average age of nurses here is 49 . Many of us a relics of the bygone age and will retire in the next 10-15 years. The workforce will then look entirely different with heavy emphasis on migrant labour. The jokes about taxi drivers all being non English speaking and lost, are already being extended to nursing. I think it's a shame that the profession is not being promoted amongst our own young. Few of my colleagues have encouraged their children to follow them into nursing. Particularly not their sons. It is still considered unmanly to be doing physical cares for sick people. Which is why so many men move into management, academia, and ER ICU mini Doctor type roles. Nurses don't find the job easy and want their children to have more authority and respect. Nursing deals mostly with people when they are weak or vulnerable and by association can't have much status ourselves .Conversely for a minority or oppressed group it is an elevation of status to move from unskilled labour to nursing. If I live to old age I can forsee a time when the nursing staff are mostly of a different ethnicity to the patients . If my needs are met in a gentle kind and intelligent manner I won't care what skin tomne or accent my nurse has providing we understand each other
  2. by   pickledpepperRN
    Robbie Shinn wants to be a nurse:

    http://cbs2.com/video/?id=34024@kcbs.dayport.com&cid=71

    "I want to be a nurse because I like helping kids."
  3. by   medsurgnurse
    Quote from kidznurse
    Interesting to read this debate. I find it difficult to use the black/ white terminology as to call someone black here is considered insulting.
    In New Zealand nursing we had an under-representation of non European ethnicities. When I trained in 1980 there was a predominantly European female group of late teen school leavers with University Entrance level school qualifications . Now however, nursing is not a preferred option of such a group. They would prefer less taxing and more exotic jobs in law, media, or IT . There are now more older people applying for nurse education even into their 50's , more new immigrants with English as a second language (often with tertiary qualifications in their country of origin eg China) and a few more Pacific Island and indiginous Maori. Nursing is becoming a less desirable career for the white middle classes. The demographics and the culture of nursing are therefore changing. The average age of nurses here is 49 . Many of us a relics of the bygone age and will retire in the next 10-15 years. The workforce will then look entirely different with heavy emphasis on migrant labour. The jokes about taxi drivers all being non English speaking and lost, are already being extended to nursing. I think it's a shame that the profession is not being promoted amongst our own young. Few of my colleagues have encouraged their children to follow them into nursing. Particularly not their sons. It is still considered unmanly to be doing physical cares for sick people. Which is why so many men move into management, academia, and ER ICU mini Doctor type roles. Nurses don't find the job easy and want their children to have more authority and respect. Nursing deals mostly with people when they are weak or vulnerable and by association can't have much status ourselves .Conversely for a minority or oppressed group it is an elevation of status to move from unskilled labour to nursing. If I live to old age I can forsee a time when the nursing staff are mostly of a different ethnicity to the patients . If my needs are met in a gentle kind and intelligent manner I won't care what skin tomne or accent my nurse has providing we understand each other
    thank you for the very enlightening post.
  4. by   sayitgirl
    If you never thought about it, you have lived a very sheltered life and you are not part of the minority. I am an African American RN and I recently started working at a LTC facility that previously in its twenty year history had never employed an African American nurse. The facility has two African
    American clients on the dementia unit. There was also one African American CNA that started off on the subacute unit but changed floors to dementia because of the harassment that she received from her coworkers. I feel like I am a pioneer at this facility, redirecting them in the behavior that they should portray toward a person because of their character and not react to the outside appearance of their skin. The DON is very supportive, in fact she is slowly increasing the number of African-American nurses employed at the facility.Now there are three of us. And all of us have at least five years experience in the field, in contrast to the average nurse at the facility that has worked at the same facility for less that three years and started off as a CNA at the same facility. They were not open to change. But I believe in time it will happen. Sometimes you have to be a change agent. Diversity is a reality in America, prejudice must become a subject of the past.
    Last edit by sayitgirl on Mar 2, '07 : Reason: spelling errors
  5. by   LadyNASDAQ
    Many times I'm the only White Nurse in my Unit. It never occurs to me that this is a problem or a color problem because this is natural and comfortable for me. Also, I'm Jewish so again, a minority within a minority.
    All I know is when there is a line someone can't get or something that they know I have the experience needed, I jump in and do it. I could care less what your race,creed or ethnic background is. I care that you're safe and you are kind to one another and to the patients.
    I hate the breakdown of Nurses based on race and ethnic background. Does an African-American Nurse know less that a White Nurse? Heck no!
    In Nursing, we are one big familly globally!!!
  6. by   sayitgirl
    There is not a group on this planet that goes through the racial discrimination that African Americans go through. I have worked on hospital units also that African Americans and Whites are the minority also. And are treated poorly, but there is always one step further that is taken with the African American nurse. I will give you one example. I worked at a magnet hospital when I finished school in 2004, the unit was predominantly one culture, with a few white and one black nurse from the Carribbeans who was my preceptor. The floor had a reputation for always harassing the African American nurses to the point that they resigned, were terminanted or transfered to another floor. During the short time that I was on that floor I lost my only son to a illness, but it did not stop the group which included the manager, from harassing me to the point that I resigned. Within the time period two other African American nurses (which were new nurses precepting) were also harassed; one transferred and the other resigned. The preceptor because she was supportive of me was harrassed to the point that she transferred to another floor. She had worked on that floor for 15 years, to make matters worse she had precepted most of the nurses that were remaining on the floor that were part of the mob. It should not be about race, but the unfortunante reality in America; it is about race. For now anyway. Hopefully one day that will change. With the increasing diveristy in America it is just a matter of time.
    Last edit by sayitgirl on Mar 2, '07
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from sayitgirl
    There is not a group on this planet that goes through the racial discrimination that African Americans go through. I have worked on hospital units also that African Americans and Whites are the minority also. And are treated poorly, but there is always one step further that is taken with the African American nurse. I will give you one example. I worked at a magnet hospital when I finished school in 2004, the unit was predominantly one culture, with a few white and one black nurse from the Carribbeans who was my preceptor. The floor had a reputation for always harassing the African American nurses to the point that they resigned, were terminanted or transfered to another floor. During the short time that I was on that floor I lost my only son to a illness, but it did not stop the group which included the manager, from harassing me to the point that I resigned. Within the time period two other African American nurses (which were new nurses precepting) were also harassed; one transferred and the other resigned. The preceptor because she was supportive of me was harrassed to the point that she transferred to another floor. She had worked on that floor for 15 years, to make matters worse she had precepted most of the nurses that were remaining on the floor that were part of the mob. It should not be about race, but the unfortunante reality in America; it is about race. For now anyway. Hopefully one day that will change. With the increasing diveristy in America it is just a matter of time.
    It hurts me to read this. I am so very sorry that nurses would do this.
    I have experienced plenty of racism but not by nurses.

    How can we treat our patients well if we aren't compassionate with each other?

    To understand why women are the majority in nursing I suggest reading "A SHORT HISTORY OF NURSING; From the Earliest Times to the Present Day"

    Position paper on why it is important to know our history: http://www.aahn.org/position.html

    Many libraries have it. You can buy it still:
    http://www.amazon.com/short-history-...2855722&sr=8-1

    http://www.bagbooks.com/?page=shop/f...979f9fb68ca6b4
  8. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from spacenurse
    I have experienced plenty of racism but not by nurses.
    My first nursing position was at a small nursing home in Bedford, Texas. This occurred in February and March 2006.

    My coworkers were openly-racist white female nurses. They would regularly make off-hand comments such as, "All of our black employees need criminal background checks" and "The Hurricane Katrina evacuees were all scum."

    You are fortunate to have not experienced racism from fellow nurses. Consider yourself lucky.
  9. by   BULLYDAWGRN
    I Personally Think This Lack Of Diversity Stuff In Proffesional Fields Is A Bunch Of Bunk... You Are What You Are, You Can Be What You Want To Be.. If You Want To Study And Spend The Time And Effort And Have Appropriate Qaulifications (ie. Grades,exp,act/sat Scores) You Can Get Into A Nursing Program, Hey I Did'nt Get Into The 1st Or 2nd Rn Program I Wanted,you Know What I Sucked It Up Re-took Some Classes Improved Some Grades And Got Into A Program, Graduated With A High Gpa And Class Vp...and Then Did'nt Get Hired At 1st Or 2nd Units That I Wanted.. Worked A Few Months Got Some Experience And Now I'm In Those Units.. If You Got What It Take On Paper And Inside You You'll Get In.
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from TheCommuter
    My first nursing position was at a small nursing home in Bedford, Texas. This occurred in February and March 2006.

    My coworkers were openly-racist white female nurses. They would regularly make off-hand comments such as, "All of our black employees need criminal background checks" and "The Hurricane Katrina evacuees were all scum."

    You are fortunate to have not experienced racism from fellow nurses. Consider yourself lucky.

    I know I've been very fortunate.
    I wonder how people with such an ignorant attitude get through nursing school.
    I attended school in Los Angeles. The worst and most frightening racism I experienced was in Texas. Iw was criminal if attempted assault and threatening rape is a crime there.
    I was really hoping that Americans your age would not have to suffer such stuff. they are DUMB!
  11. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from spacenurse
    I attended school in Los Angeles. The worst and most frightening racism I experienced was in Texas.
    I, too, attended school in the Los Angeles area (more specifically, Van Nuys), and I am a native Californian. I'm 26 years old, and the first 24 years were spent in Southern California. I relocated to Texas about a year and a half ago because the job market here is more "LVN friendly".
  12. by   blueheaven
    Quote from TheCommuter
    My first nursing position was at a small nursing home in Bedford, Texas. This occurred in February and March 2006.

    My coworkers were openly-racist white female nurses. They would regularly make off-hand comments such as, "All of our black employees need criminal background checks" and "The Hurricane Katrina evacuees were all scum."

    You are fortunate to have not experienced racism from fellow nurses. Consider yourself lucky.
    On the other hand I have faced reverse racism from my black african-american co-workers. Our mix on my unit is such that I am a minority and don't think that it wasn't obvious when I came to work here. I use the term black as not everyone who is black is from africa. One of the nurses is from Haiti and she has not treated the way the others have. I work in a large downtown city hospital.
  13. by   EmerNurse
    My first nursing job was in a similar place. I'd previously not ever realized that there was racism within, as well. I too was often the minority, with black nurses comprising American, Jamaican, Haitian and other "types" of "black" per se.

    There was a definate difference in the way certain "types" were treated. Even the skin tone "lighter or darker" was cause for comment among them. I was truly shocked.

    Naive I guess but it seems racism spans more than just the traditional american definition of "black/white".

    We've got a long long way to go.

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