Researcher: Better Diversity in Nursing Improves Access to Care
Monday, October 3, 2022
Nurses are on the forefront of patient outcomes, and experts say a workforce that better reflects the population it serves can help reduce healthcare disparities.
In Ohio, people of color are under-represented in the nursing workforce. The percentage of nursing school graduates who are Black or Hispanic is lower than the percentage of the general population.
Associate Provost for Social Mission and Academic Excellence at Chamberlain University Dr. Kenya Beard 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," said Beard. "So, greater patient choice and satisfaction when we have a diverse workforce; it's better patient-clinician communication."
Beard noted that diversity is multi-dimensional, and includes race, ethnicity, socio-economic factors and gender. For example, men represent only 12% of nurses.
Beard said improving diversity in the profession starts with a more inclusive learning environment. She explained that when students sees themselves represented among the faculty, they realize a nursing degree is something they can achieve as well.
Beard explained that unconscious attitudes among medical professionals can impact patient outcomes.
For example, because of their own life experience, a nurse might assume incorrectly that a patient has the resources to drive to a pharmacy and purchase a medication when they leave a hospital.
"When you bring people into a learning environment that have different experiences," said Beard, "not just based on race but based on socioeconomic factors as well, these different experiences create a rich, robust dialogue that helps everyone understand how these social determinants of health impact patient outcomes."
Beard added that with culturally responsive teaching, nursing educators strengthen students' ability to recognize and respond in an inclusive way to diverse perspectives.
"When these students graduate," said Beard, "they are better positioned to have a conversation with patients and their colleagues in a way that shows cultural humility and a greater degree of understanding the difficulties of navigating healthcare and achieving your best level of health."
Chamberlain University, which has locations in Columbus and Cleveland, 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
Looking backwards to move forward: Using a social mission lens in nursing education Journal of Professional Nursing/Darcy-Mahoney et al 9/1/20
How Closely Do Ohios RN Graduates Reflect the States Diversity? Champaign for Action 2/3/20
get more stories like this via email
Groups fighting for Palestinian rights are praising a new fact sheet on religious discrimination from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for …
Lawmakers and immigrants-rights activists in the Commonwealth are hoping to pass the Language Access and Inclusion Act, which would dramatically …
New U.S. Department of Agriculture rules will target fraud and increase oversight of the $64 billion-a-year organic food industry. In Iowa, the …
By Jennifer Weiss-Wolf for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News …
North Dakota's plan to boost animal agriculture has reignited a thorny issue: loosening restrictions on corporate ownership of farms. The state said …
Oregon is pursuing an aggressive climate plan to switch to renewable energy sources, but it faces one often overlooked issue: enough high-voltage …
A measure in the Washington State Legislature would provide free school meals to K-12 students, but nutrition service workers are worried they are …
Advocates and stakeholders have solutions for the Virginia Employment Commission to get through its backlog of unemployment appeal cases. According …