Overcoming Barriers to Diversity in Nursing: Strategies for Success

Diversity in nursing is critical for delivering high-quality care to patients. However, achieving diversity in the nursing workforce can be challenging due to various barriers. In this blog post, we will examine some of the obstacles that can prevent diversity in the nursing field and offer strategies for overcoming them.

Barriers to Diversity in Nursing

Limited access to education: Access to education is one of the biggest barriers for many people who want to become nurses. Limited access to quality education can prevent individuals from gaining the skills and knowledge needed to enter the nursing profession. This is particularly true for individuals from low-income families, as they may not have the financial resources to pursue higher education.

Bias and discrimination: Bias and discrimination can prevent individuals from diverse backgrounds from entering the nursing profession. This can include racial and ethnic bias, as well as ageism and sexism. Discrimination can also occur in the workplace, leading to lower retention rates for diverse nursing staff.

Lack of role models and mentors: Many individuals from diverse backgrounds may not have role models or mentors in the nursing profession who can help guide them in their career. This can lead to feelings of isolation and prevent them from pursuing a career in nursing.

Strategies for Overcoming Barriers to Diversity in Nursing

Providing access to education: To overcome the barrier of limited access to education, nursing schools can offer scholarships and financial assistance to students from low-income families. Additionally, nursing programs can partner with community organizations and high schools to recruit students from diverse backgrounds.

Promoting diversity and inclusion: Healthcare organizations can promote diversity and inclusion by implementing policies and procedures that address bias and discrimination. This can include training for staff on unconscious bias and creating a welcoming and inclusive work environment for all employees.

Offering mentorship programs: Mentorship programs can provide individuals from diverse backgrounds with role models and support in their nursing careers. Healthcare organizations can create mentorship programs for diverse nursing staff, or partner with community organizations to provide mentorship opportunities for students and aspiring nurses.

In conclusion, diversity in nursing is critical for delivering high-quality care to patients. Overcoming the barriers to diversity in the nursing field requires a multi-faceted approach that includes promoting access to education, addressing bias and discrimination, and offering mentorship programs. By implementing these strategies, we can create a more diverse and inclusive nursing workforce that provides the best possible care to all patients.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2021). Fact sheet: Nursing workforce. https://www.aacnnursing.org/News-Information/Fact-Sheets/Nursing-Workforce

American Nurses Association. (2020). Racism and health. https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/work-environment/health-safety/racism-and-health/

Brown, C., Azman, A., & Gottlieb, L. N. (2018). A call to action: Diversity, inclusion, and equity in the nursing workforce. Nursing Outlook, 66(4), 385-387. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2018.04.003

Leininger, M. M. (1991). Culture care diversity and universality: A theory of nursing. National League for Nursing Press.

National Academy of Medicine. (2018). The future of nursing 2020-2030: Charting a path to achieve health equity. https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/the-future-of-nursing-2020-2030-charting-a-path-to-achieve-health-equity

National League for Nursing. (2019). Position statement: Diversity and inclusion in nursing education. https://www.nln.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/diversity-and-inclusion-in-nursing-education.pdf?sfvrsn=4e34f813_4

Office of Minority Health. (2020). Cultural and linguistic competency. https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=53

Ross, L., Smith, M., Gittens, J., Johnson, E., & James, D. (2021). Strategies for addressing the nursing workforce diversity gap. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 11(2), 7-16. https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v11n2p7


A Guide to Repositioning the Nursing Profession for a Post COVID Era

As part of her contributions towards strengthening the nursing workforce, Tonika Bruce, a registered nurse, and best-selling author, gives a detailed overview of how to reposition the nursing profession for a post-COVID era. 

The strength of nurses lies in their vital role in patient care, advances in nursing technologies, and feasibility of resources but there are a few implications for them.