Nursing Education Diversity

When you think of a nursing professional, what exactly is the first image that comes to mind? Chances are, you think of a woman and for valid reasons. Many professional nurses in the U.S. are white females. In fact, only about 6 % of nursing staff are men and, considering men make up approximately half of the population and minorities are 30 %, there’s a major difference in the career.

That difference is shown in equal measure in nursing educational institutions, both in the student population and staff. Experts claim improving the diversity in nursing education will improve nursing care by developing more culturally delicate nursing care employees with improved interaction abilities, reduced tendencies and generalizations and fewer inequities, as well as increasing the variety of the nursing education faculty.

nursing-educationAt a time when the healthcare system is faced with a nursing shortage caused at least partly by a lack of nursing teachers, some claim men and minorities signify a low competition resource for hiring new teachers. They believe that by developing new opportunities to entice typically underrepresented communities to the field, we can both fix the lack and create a considerable improvement to our healthcare delivery program. While minorities have made great progress in other typically white-dominated areas and ladies have done the same in typically men areas, nursing is one area where diversity projects seem to have been worthless.

In the case of men, much of the resistance to nursing as a career comes from a social understanding of nursing being a “female” career. Men say that while they enjoy the care giving aspects of the job, it’s difficult when others ask questions or make comments deriding their career choice. For example, male nurses report being asked why they did not choose to become physicians, with the connotation that they did not earn adequate grades or were too lazy to become physicians. In addition, men say that feeling left out of the career, with most training and expert development materials making reference to nurses as “she” and a female-centric approach to teaching and training.

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