While we celebrate National Nurses Week each year, because of their ongoing contributions to quality healthcare, nurses should be celebrated every day. They’re that important.
Since our nation’s population has become more diverse along with patient demographics, it’s important for nursing to keep pace. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, ethnic and racial minorities already are nearly 40 percent of the population and likely will comprise the majority within 25-30 years. A diverse nursing force is better-equipped to reduce the health disparities and deliver expanded, quality care to that changing “face of America.”
The Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality (AHRQ) has found minority populations typically have less access to medical services – hence, they often suffer from poorer health. When nursing staffs mirror the general population breakdown, healthcare better bridges the care gap and results in improved patient satisfaction and outcomes. As a result, nursing has become a much more diversified field…and, not just ethnically and racially, but by gender.
The Nursing Field Becomes More Diversified
A survey conducted by the Census Bureau four years ago found nursing isn’t only a career aimed at women. The survey showed nearly 10 percent of all nurses were male…and the number was rising. In fact, men made up 41 percent of all nurses qualified in the nurse anesthetist specialty.
Diversity among nurses not only increases patients’ comfort levels and outcomes, nurses themselves benefit from it. When diversity is valued in a hospital or other healthcare setting, so are fair access to job postings, benefits, and promotions. And that can lead to more complete, competent diagnoses and evaluations and an overall better learning environment for all nurses involved.
Nursing schools and educators also play a role in expanding diversity. For example, educators who come from diverse cultural backgrounds can offer differing viewpoints that translate into more effective treatments for today’s more diverse patients.
Becoming a Nurse
Join in celebrating National Nurses Week, of course, but take to heart the Nurses Week theme of “balancing the mind, body, and spirit” in all you do. If it so happens you want to do that as a nurse, Fortis is one of the largest nursing education providers in America. Start by exploring the various Fortis college and institute campuses throughout the country that offer nursing programs. Visit our site to learn more.