"The one finding that we were surprised about was that black nurses were more likely to go onto school because we hear a lot and we know that there are not enough black nurses in the workforce," Kovner says. She adds that those findings are encouraging. "There's movement in the right direction."
Factors such as race and having a positive attitude are out of a hospitals control, but barriers such as cost and time are not. It's in a hospital's power to help nurses achieve greater levels of education, and now, armed with studies like this one, chief nurses officers should feel obliged to go to bat for their staff's education.
"It's important for organizations to look at what they can change," Kovner says.