Nursing
e-Newsletter
Intelligence Unit Special Reports Special Events Subscribe Sponsored Departments Follow Us

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn RSS

Narrowing Racial Disparities in Nursing

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, October 30, 2012

In fact, when the patient-to-nurse ratio increased above 5:1, the odds of patient death increased by 10% per additional patient among blacks, compared to just 3% per additional patient among whites.

"These results suggest that improving the quality of postsurgical outcomes of older patients, particularly older black patients, means putting more nurses on the floor," wrote lead author J. Margo Brooks Carthon, PhD, RN. "Better staffed hospitals are better prepared to meet the more complex needs of older patients, particularly minorities with higher rates of co-existing conditions."

And where to find those additional nurses? Perhaps from groups which, according to the latest National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, remain underrepresented in the RN population when compared to the general population. For example, the data shows that nurses from minority racial and ethnic groups represent only 16.8% of all nurses. Although only about 65% of the U.S. population is white, non-Hispanic, 83.2% of RNs are white, non-Hispanic.

But there is work going on to bridge this gap.

The University of North Alabama College of Nursing and Allied Health recently received a grant of $2.1 million from the U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration. The $2.1 million grant will support about 67 scholarships for pre-nursing and nursing majors in its first year, and about 80 scholarships by year four.

The grant will help disadvantaged students, particularly underrepresented minorities, enter the school's UNA's new OPEN (Opportunities for Entry Into Nursing) program, which aims to address local and national healthcare needs among disadvantaged and minority populations, as well as an underrepresentation of minorities in the nursing workforce.

1 | 2 | 3

Comments are moderated. Please be patient.

2 comments on "Narrowing Racial Disparities in Nursing"


DV (11/5/2012 at 2:58 PM)
Thank you for educating the public on the disparity between healthcare professionals & the populaltions they serve. The latesst Census figures cannot deny the fact the ethnic diversity has & is projected to continue to increase. Fact in cultural competence is that quality outcomes result when cultures match up or at least can become sensitive & educated to the cultures served. I know this hurts feelings, but that is why we have health disparities. This is by no mean affirmative action. I suggest those who are offended get educated & updated in health disparities and cultural competency. Thank you again for this informative article!

Ryan St.Michael (10/30/2012 at 6:56 PM)
1)Diversity(the artist formerly known as affirmative action) is racial discrimination. 2)The US Supreme Court is about to outlaw this form of affirmative action/diversity because it unconstitutional(read the 14th amendment.) 3) There is already a massive pool of qualified individuals of all races waiting to get into nursing school but no space is available. 4)The color of the skin of the nurse caring for a patient has zero bearing on the recovery from illness. 5) How is it possible to write one article so overloaded with false assumptions, non sequitur , and just plain fantasy parading as fact?