245348 Diverse nursing workforce: Unveiling messages of inequality

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Anna Jaso, MSN, RN , School of Nursing, Lourdes College, Sylvania, OH
Demecia Wade-Murdock, MPA, BSN, RN , School of Nursing, Lourdes College, Sylvania, OH
Julie Kruse, PhD(c), RN , College of Nursing, Lourdes University & The University of Michigan, Sylvania, OH
Kathie Myers, BSN, RN , School of Nursing, Lourdes College, Sylvania, OH
Kathy L. Perzynski, MS, RN , School of Nursing, Lourdes College, Sylvania, OH
Background and Issues: In the midst of multiple endeavors to improve the cultural competence of the nursing workforce, are we truly walking the walk? Do high scores on self perceived competence tools reflect the real story? What does the disparity between our perceived level of cultural competence and the reality of our behaviors in working with nursing students mean for the profession?

Description: LPN to BSN participants of a HRSA Nursing Workforce Diversity project were selected based on “equal contact status” so that 50% of the group were from minority groups and 50% from the majority population. Students participated in one-on-one meetings to review a variety of assessment tools they completed to establish goals and support their academic objectives.

Lessons Learned: Project data revealed that students are faced with multiple levels of inequity in their personal, professional, and academic experiences. These students also exhibit goal directed persistence to achieve their BSN degree. Students identified themselves as “loners” or “survivors” in the midst of academic or employment systems that view them as “a difficult problem”, “inferior”, or “less than”. Other descriptors identified by students include “just an LPN”, “discriminated against”, “stereotyped”, and feeling "belittled”.

Recommendations: The initial project findings have led to the following suggestions: •Develop a trusting rapport with students from different backgrounds to discover student concern/issues •Create an environment supporting faculty transformation in strengthening the value of working with diverse students •Celebrate the achievements and rites of passage to facilitate student transition within the professional setting.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss strategies to uncover the specific needs of a diverse student population. 2. Identify approaches to facilitate faculty reflection and transformation to respond to the needs of a diverse student population.

Keywords: Social Justice, Cultural Competency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am working with diverse nursing students in an academic setting.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.