Meeting Nursing Demand through Diversity

We live in a time where there is an increasing demand for nurses. To help aid in this demand, various schools and programs are taking steps to not only aid in supplying nurses for the demand, but also increasing diversity in the nursing profession. “Meeting Nursing Demand through Diversity” by Lois Elfman highlights various ways that nursing programs all across the United States are increasing diversity among their nursing students. The article includes admitting more diverse populations of students into programs, aiding and helping minority students during their schooling, and even helping these culturally diverse students to obtain even higher education so that they can be eligible to teach at the school they attended. The article mentioned, “In the near future, a severe shortage of nurses is expected due to the healthcare needs of aging baby boomers, new opportunities for nurses to take the lead in primary care and current nurses retiring” (Elfman, 2018, pg.10). The article also references the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to highlight the growing need for qualified nurses (Elfman, 2018, pg. 10). By reading this article it is clear that there is a need for nurses, but also that there are many successful ways to aid in building culturally diverse nurses to fill this need.

As our country is becoming more diverse, the workforce history has “traditionally been and continues to be predominantly white and female” [The future of nursing, (2015)]. The nursing occupation has begun to grow from being commonly white and female. The nurses of unlike racial and ethnicity minority groups have enlarged within the last two decades. The number of male nurses has also amplified, and the bulk of these males are from a minority group. The low patient results are triggered by the absence of diversity in the health care professions.  In the article they forecast that by 2043 the United States will have converted to a minority-majority nation, which means that whites will make up less than half of the population. The future of nursing stated that the necessity for a modification concerning the diversity was suggested. “The recommendation is to initially increase the rate of nurses with a bachelor of science in nursing to about 80% by 2020” [The future of nursing, (2015)].  and demands “strategies to increase the diversity of the nursing workforce in terms of race/ethnicity, gender, and geographic distribution” [Villarruel, Washington, Nefertari (2015)].

If you really think about it, from reading the article, I can conclude that the nursing staff is not as varied as the people in the United States. This is something that desires to modify the obstacles for all aspects of nursing needs, to be uninvolved. Everyone can help by participating in a role of progressing reforms by sharing successful lifestyles. The need to assess must be taken sincerely to benchmark the movements used to promote the diversity. The workforce does play a role in helping to convert and prepare a more diverse and culturally capable nursing profession. The nurse frontrunners and other nurses need to aid by accepting the profession to help endorse diversity to our population that will reflect the population that it serves.

One of the many competencies a proficient nurse must possess is one of culture, many cultures, actually. Those who are in the nursing profession come in touch with every race, ethnicity, religion and culture possible. Nurses are not necessarily required to know everything about every ethnicities’ culture, because that would be impossible. However, health care workers are required to be sensitive and open to continually acquiring new knowledge about these topics. According to one study done by Nerfis Sanchez Elminowski (2015) “The population in the United States continues to diversify which increases the need for outreach and cultural training to serve these populations. There are mandates put forward by the Rehabilitation Act of 1993 that ensures that health care agencies who provide care to the underserved elderly population with disabilities living in independent centers and nursing homes promote strategies that will increase service proficiency” (p.105). This study summarizes the effectiveness of an educational workshop that was designed to explore and advance practitioner and graduate student’s cultural proficiencies. It has been proven that certain cultures and groups specifically avoid interactions with healthcare providers and medical workers due to conflict of cultural differences, lack of knowledge and lack of appropriate communication. This can be directly related to those cultures who have a declined health status (Sanchez Elminowski, 2015). Furthermore, with these educational workshops in place we can provide more qualified care. Not only that, but as healthcare providers our efficiency and adaptability will also contribute to implementing culturally competent care.



Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, at the Institute of Medicine. The future of nursing: leading change, advancing health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2015.

Elfman, L. (2018). Meeting Nursing Demand through Diversity. Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 2, 10. (Links to an external site.)

Sanchez Elminowski, N. (2015). Developing and implementing a cultural awareness workshop for nurse practitioners. Journal of Cultural Diversity22(3), 105-113.

Villarruel, Antonia PhD, RN, FAAN; Washington, Deborah PhD, MS, RN; Lecher, William T MS, MBA, RN, NE-BC; Carver, Nefertari A. A More Diverse Nursing Workforce, AJN The American Journal of Nursing: May 2015 – Volume 115 – Issue 5 – p 57-62 doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000465034.43341.b1

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