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Educating Nurses for Maryland's Future

The Importance of Diversity

A strong, diverse nursing workforce is needed to improve the health of our
nation and the global community and eliminate health disparities everywhere

LeadNursingForward logoWhat is diversity?

  • The practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of backgrounds
  • It recognizes individual differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other attributes

Infographic on the subject of racial and ethnic diversity in nursing and nursing education. 3 donut graphs are shown. The first shows that, in nursing, Caucasians represent 75.6%, African Americans represent 9.9%, Hispanics represent 4.8%, Asian Americans represent 8.3%, American Indians represent 0.4%, and multiracials represent 1.3%. The second shows that, in nursing education, Caucasians represent 81%, African Americans represent 9%, Hispanics represent 3.4%, Asian Americans represent 2.9%, American Indians represent 0.4%, and multiracials represent 0.8%. The third shows that, in the U.S. population, Caucasians represent 60.1%, African Americans represent 13.4%, Hispanics represent 18.5%, Asian Americans represent 5.9%, American Indians represent 1.3%, and multiracials represent 2.8%. Racial and ethnic minorities comprise 39% of U.S. population but represent only 24.7% of registered nurses and 17.3% of full-time nursing faculty positions. (DeWitty & Murray, 2020). These statistics come from U.S. populations stats from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045219
DeWitty & Murray, 2020Latest Data on Diversity

LeadNursingForward logoWhy is diversity in nursing important?

  • “It encourages self-awareness and respect for all persons, embracing and celebrating the richness of each individual.
  • It encompasses organizational, institutional, and system-wide behaviors in nursing, nursing education, and health care”, (NLN, 2016, p. 2).

With greater diversity comes:

  • broader perspectives
  • more ideas
  • better problem-solving
Working in diverse teams where people can learn from each other, opens dialogue and promotes creativity. Explore further .

LeadNursingForward logoWhy is diversity in nursing education important?

It’s about the people: To meet the nation’s healthcare needs, address health inequities in historically underserved communities, and improve access to care, we need students, faculty, staff, and academic leaders who reflect the people we serve (AACN, 2020).

It’s about the environment: We need learning environments that embrace diversity and inclusion so that diverse faculty, staff, and students can flourish.

It’s about the subject matter/content: Curricula that respond to the health needs of all populations are essential so that students learn to care for diverse populations in culturally responsive ways (NLN, 2016).

LeadNursingForward logoEfforts to Improve Diversity in Nursing and Nursing Education

  1. Developing nursing pipeline programs to increase recruitment, retention, and graduation of students from underrepresented groups.

    These programs provide academic and financial support along with mentorship to promote student success (NLN, 2016).

  2. Creating a nursing workforce of clinicians, educators, scholars, and leaders who will provide high quality, culturally appropriate and congruent health care.

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  3. Intentional curricular change to foster advocacy and an appreciation of nursing’s moral responsibility to health equity and social justice.

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  4. Implementing evidence-based recruitment practices and admissions redesign aimed at increasing the number of students from underrepresented groups into the nursing profession.

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  5. Filming of 10 Ways Academic Nursing is Addressing Structural Racism:




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