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In a letter published in the 2007 annual report of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the association's president and executive director commented on the changing face of the nursing profession: "Nursing's academic leaders have long recognized the strong connection between a culturally diverse nursing workforce and the ability to provide quality patient care[horizontal ellipsis]."


The letter continues, "Though nursing schools have made great strides in recruiting nurses from diverse backgrounds, more must be done before adequate representation becomes a reality. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one in every three U.S. residents is classified as a member of a minority population. AACN's latest enrollment data show an increase in minority representation across all types of professional nursing programs." The letter says that students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds now constitute as many as a quarter of those enrolled in different types of nursing programs: 25.2% of students in entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs are from such backgrounds, as are 22.7% of those enrolled in nursing master's programs, and 19.9% of those in research-focused doctoral programs in nursing. "These numbers are impressive when compared with other health professions programs," says the letter. "Still, we clearly have more work to do."


The letter goes on to point out the need to attract more minority faculty. According to the AACN's data, only 10.5% of full time nurse faculty are from minority backgrounds. The AACN annual report provides the following numbers, based on Fall 2006 data: in entry-level baccalaureate programs, American Indian or Alaskan Natives constitute 0.7% of enrollees; Asian, Hawaiian, or Pacific Islanders, 7%; black or African American, 12.1%; Hispanic or Latino, 5.4%; and white, 74.8%. Master's programs show similar enrollment figures.


The report goes on to cite efforts that are under way to enhance diversity in nursing. The California Endowment granted funds to the AACN for development of cultural competency standards and a program to increase minority faculty. Other efforts include a task force focused on increasing the number of faculty with doctorates who are from minority backgrounds, formation of a global alliance of nursing educators, and the March 2007 National Leadership Symposium on Increasing Diversity in the Health Professions, hosted by the Sullivan Alliance.


Your Guide to Job Opportunities at Facilities Focusing on Diversity



DUMC 3714


Durham, NC 27710


Contact: Nurse Recruitment


(800) BE-A-NURSE (232-6877)


Web site:


South Carolina Hospital Association


Contact: Anne Howard


(803) 796-3080




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