Leading the Way with Diversity In Nursing
In a rapidly growing world, it’s clear that healthcare employers are looking for a diverse group of nurses and midwives to meet the growing demands of care. Diversity in healthcare renders it essential for nursing students to be versatile and exhibit the ability to interact with patients and providers from all cultural backgrounds. Frontier Nursing University (FNU) implemented the PRIDE (Promoting Recruitment and Retention to Increase Diversity in Nurse-Midwifery and Nurse Practitioner Education) Program, in an effort to prepare nursing and midwifery students to meet the global demand for diversity and cultural awareness to reflect the populations they serve.
As people of different backgrounds and cultures increasingly come in contact with one another, the need for cultural diversity in healthcare is vital. Diversity in healthcare will help fill in the gap for groups that otherwise would go unnoticed. Without adequate representation of minority healthcare professionals in birthing centers and other environments, health disparities will widen and people of color will continue to slip through the cracks when receiving medical attention. One FNU student Diego Acero, shares about his involvement in the PRIDE diversity program… “Being that I am Latino, which makes me part of an underrepresented population, I’ve realized the importance of increasing the awareness about cultural differences in healthcare…how medical outcomes are different depending on the race of the patient makes me realize the importance that culture and diversity have on our healthcare.”
In meeting the demand for more diversity in communities across the nation, institutions like Frontier Nursing University know that a more diverse group of nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners is needed. Through FNU‘s PRIDE diversity initiative, the university has been recognized in preparing their nursing and midwifery students to meet the growing cultural landscape of the populations they serve. The program encourages students to think beyond their experiences to create a culture of transparency. Students strive to discover themselves in a world filled with cultures beyond their own. This allows them to rebuild perceptions of others while connecting their academic studies with positive health outcomes for their communities and families. Students like Ebony Simpson want to make a difference in their community, “…when I provide care to the Black women in my community, I remember that I am just like them. Recalling this fact has been instrumental…and with the support of the PRIDE program, I know I can look forward to continued growth.”
Increasing diversity in nursing education helps link FNU faculty, staff, alumni and students to cultivate relationships within their communities where nursing students are taught to provide culturally competent care to rural and underserved populations.
Each year FNU hosts its Diversity Impact Event that brings in students, alumni, faculty and staff for a weekend of fellowship, networking, team building exercises, cultural awareness activities and discussions related to increasing diversity in nursing and midwifery. Diversity Impact provides workshops for students to explore issues related to diversity in healthcare, and to empower them to create positive change within their local communities. Awareness sessions address a range of diversity topics from obesity, health disparities, ageism, gender, family wellness, to nutrition and physical fitness. Participants leave this event feeling empowered and ready to create change in their communities through their enhanced cultural awareness and newly developed perspectives.
As the cultural demographics of America continue to evolve and grow, healthcare will continue to be one of the leading topics as it relates to diversity. With that comes assurance that academic institutions like Frontier Nursing University are preparing nursing and midwifery students to meet the demand of the diverse populations they serve.
Journey into Wellbeing
FNU: The birthplace of Nurse-Midwifery and Family Nursing
Wilvena McDowell, M.A.- works in Student Services at Frontier Nursing University as the PRIDE Program Coordinator for the University’s Diversity Initiative Program. To learn more about FNU’s diversity Pride Program visit www.frontier.edu/PRIDEprogram.
About Frontier Nursing University
FNU is a graduate school of nursing, located in Hyden, KY which offers distance education programs for nurses to obtain a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with specialty tracks for nurse-midwifery, family nurse practitioner and women’s healthcare nurse practitioner certifications. To learn more about Frontier Nursing University visit: www.frontier.edu.