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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Better Diversity in Nursing Seen as Improving Access to Care

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Thursday, October 6, 2022   

The connection between hospital patient outcomes and nurse staffing has been well documented in health care research, and experts believe a workforce which better reflects the population it serves can help reduce health care disparities.

In Georgia, people of color are underrepresented in the nursing workforce. The percentage of nursing school graduates who are Black or Hispanic is lower than the percentage of the general population.

Kenya Beard, associate provost for social mission and academic excellence at Chamberlain University, has studied the issue of improving diversity in the nursing profession.

"Diversity among health professionals is associated with improved access to care, and the two overarching issues is access and quality," Beard explained. "Greater patient choice and satisfaction when we have a diverse workforce; it's better patient-clinician communication."

Beard argued improving diversity in the profession starts with a more inclusive learning environment. She explained when students see themselves represented among the faculty, they realize a nursing degree is something they can achieve as well.

Dr. Jeannine Blackman, nurse unit manager at Wellstar Health System ins Douglasville, said her mother was her inspiration to become a nurse. However, she credits Chamberlain for equipping her with the tools to start off her careers as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Decades later, she has been able to help mentor Chamberlain students and applauds the program for promoting and encouraging diversity.

"When I mean about diversity, I don't just mean race, I mean socioeconomic status," Blackman emphasized. "You have those that were uninsured, underinsured, homeless, chronically homeless for over 20-something years with mental health."

Beard added with culturally responsive teaching, nursing educators strengthen students' ability to recognize and respond in inclusive ways to diverse perspectives.

"When these students graduate, they are better positioned to have a conversation with patients and their colleagues," Beard stressed. "In a way that shows cultural humility and a greater degree of understanding the difficulties of navigating health care and achieving your best level of health."

Chamberlain University, with a location in Atlanta, has what's called a Social Determinants of Learning model. Beard said it addresses disparities and expands opportunities by focusing on barriers to student success, including economic, housing and transportation insecurity, and psychosocial health.

Disclosure: Adtalem Global Education contributes to our fund for reporting on Education, Health Issues, and Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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