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Education 780

October 14, 2014


Dr. Nancy Acevedo-Gil
Kathy Tiras
Why are there so few minority RNS

The Unites States has a very diverse culture; however diversity ends when it comes to the
number of minority Registered Nurses (RN). According to the National League of Nursing 84%
of Registered Nurses in the United States are Caucasian females. Hispanic nurses represent only
1.8% of practicing Registered Nurses and African American Registered Nurses represent 4.6%
(NLN.com).Nursing programs for the last ten years have been trying to increase enrollment and
graduation rates of minorities without much success. In a qualitative study perform at a
University in California several themes where found that were consistent with previous studies
of why minority student do not apply to nursing school or if accepted to a nursing program do
not graduated (Amaro, Abriam-Yago & Yoder, 2006). The themes found through in-depth
interviews of Latino, Portugueses, and African American students were: personal needs: such as
lack of finances, insufficient time, family responsibilities and language difficulties, academic
needs: study workload, need for tutoring and lack of study groups another major need was a
lack of role models in the nursing faculty. In another study lack of diversity in nursing
programs was related to lack of science education at the high school level, low GPA scores ( not
meeting entrance requirements), financial difficulties, lack of social capital and lack of critical
thinking skills which are necessary to practicing RNS(Beacham, Askew & Williams, 2009).
At a Northern California nursing school with the use of grant money develop a retention program
that included: a retention coordinator, mentoring network, language partnership, family night,
health care seminars, minority support groups, updates to faculty by the retention coordinator
and minority pre-nursing outreach. This program was very successful with 100% retention and
graduation of its minority nursing students. Unfortunately when the grant ran out so did the
program (Gardner, 2004). This study helped to show that with early intervention and role
models and family incorporation that minority students can be successful in nursing school.

References
Amaro, D.,Abriam-Yago, K., & Yoder, M. (2006). Perceived barriers for ethnically diverse
students in nursing program. Journal of Nursing Education, 45 (7).247-251.
Beacham, T., Askew, R. & Williams, P. (2009).Strategies to increase racial/ethnic student
participation in the nursing profession. The ABNF Journal. Summer, 69-72.
Gardner, J. (2004). A successful minority retention project. Journal of Nursing Education, 44(12)
566-568.