As the population increases, the need for adequate health care also increases. This is especially true in the field of Nursing. The need for trained nurses is steadily rising. One problem, however, is that there is a distinct lack of diversity in the nursing field. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed
A study in 2008 from the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses showed that with almost 3.0 million registered nurses (RN’s) in the U.S, those of minority background made up only 16.8% of the RN workforce. And to be more precise the RN population comprised 5.4% African American, 3.6% Hispanic, 5.8% Asian/Native Hawaiian, 0.3% American Indian/Alaska Native, and 1.7% multiracial nurses.
Source (University of St. Augustine)
The lack of diversity within the nursing industry has left minority groups not being able to get the proper care or even treatment. This can cause patients to feel that they are not being understood or understand what is happening. From a nurses stance it can be difficult not being able to communicate with their patient to better understand their needs. This leaves the patient unhappy and frustrated with the type of care that they received.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reported that in 2018-2019 the Enrollment and Graduation in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing hat nursing students who are of a minority background represented 34.2% of entry- level students who were are in the baccalaureate programs.
Those underrepresented groups such as gender, sexual or racial have faced challenges like discrimination, low job offers and even uneven pay. This also includes receiving quality education that is required to continue in the workforce. More specifically women are the most underrepresented when it comes to entry level positions, according to the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.
Source: ( University of St. Augustine)
Some ways to improve the lack of diversity in the nursing field could be, according to the University of St. Augustine,
- Reduce Health Disparities
- Increase Patient Trust
- Improve Communication
As it relates to reducing health disparities, this means to make sure that there is a way that the people of that community are serviced correctly and improve their outcomes. Next,is to Increase the Patient’s Trust. Patients of color are most likely to go step out and find help. Lastly, Improve Communication. When patients are able to not only feel comfortable with talking to their provider who speaks the same language they are more likely to receive the proper care.
All in all, with the lack of diversity in the nursing field becoming a major problem in minority communities, it is imperative that nurses understand how this affects the patients long term. The more we see a change in this the better off minorities are more likely to not only receive the proper care, but be more willing to go and speak to nurses who can understand where they are coming from.
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Nursing shortage. Sumner College. (2020, June 8). Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://www.sumnercollege.edu/blog/nursing-shortage-2/.
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