Invisioning a Nursing Recruitment Solution

  1. Minorities underrepresented
    Nursing field needs men, people of color

    Aug 27, 2001

    The typical nurse is a married woman about 45 years old who works in a hospital, according to a federal survey of the nursing work force.

    Andre Young does not fit that description, but he does look like what some nursing researchers say the profession needs - more men and people of color.

    Young, 37, a surgical technician at Memorial Regional Medical Center, is a junior at Bon Secours Memorial School of Nursing.

    After a stint in the Army, he joined the reserves, where he trained as a surgical technician, a job he has performed since 1991. A nursing degree, he said, will give him more options.

    Of the more than 2.6 million nurses in the United States, only about 12.3 percent are minorities and only 5.9 percent are men.

    Minorities, according to the latest census figures, are about a third of the U.S. population. Men make up about half the population.

    Hispanics, fast becoming the largest ethnic group, account for only 2 percent of registered nurses but 11.4 percent of the population. Blacks make up 12.2 percent of the population but only 4.9 percent of RNs.

    There is ongoing talk of the need to boost those numbers, but real change has been slow.

    Of the 100 incoming students at the Bon Secours nursing school, only six are men. Of the approximately 100 nursing students who graduate annually from J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, fewer than a dozen are men.

    Dr. P.J. Maddox, a researcher at George Mason University, said the numbers point to untapped resources.

    "We have an underrepresentation of minorities in the nursing work force. It's not even close to mirroring the diversity in society at large," she said. "We need individuals who can be culturally sensitive to the patients we take care of."

    Dr. Barbara S. Brown said even highly skilled nurses are viewed as "people who wait on you." She is an RN, a researcher at the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association and author of the report "Status of Nursing in Virginia."

    "This is not an image to attract Generation X, Y or Z," Brown wrote in the report. "Where nursing has been promoted as a 'caring' profession, it is more correctly a '3T' career - thinking, technology and touch. Hospital bedside nursing is a high-tech, quick-paced, problem-solving and multitask job."

    Recruitment Solution:
    I love Dr. Barbara Brown's comments in last paragraph.

    Can see the TV/ Radio marketing campaign now "Nursing is a '3 T career'....
    thinking (pictures/voices of nurses discussing lab results, discussing with the patient why they are holding a medication and contacting physician...or doing drug calculations... brainstorming with colleague on wound care products {showing them} to cover unusual surgical wound);

    technology (pictures of nurses positioning art lines to capture waveform, ...adjusting a ventilator setting after suctioning a client....entering pyxis to obtain meds, ...entering careplan into computer);

    touch palpating the abdomen of a laboring mother + listening for fetal heart tones...performing & teaching wound care...listening to lungs of a CHF client....bathing a newborn....holding hand of confused client who's aggitated and soothingly calming them).

    Nurses portrayed would be from all walks of life, and be non-traditional, like a man bathing the newborn, etc.

    Voice over of announcer: "Hospital bedside nursing is a high-tech, quick-paced, problem-solving and multitask job. Consider a nursing career today!" and goes on to list state wide phone number to locate school of nursing.

    Do YOU see this type of campaign working and what images would you suggest? If interested would forward comment to ANA/ Nursing commission trying to attract students to profession.

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    About NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN Moderator

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