Calif. Nursing Programs Bolster Diversity Recruitment Efforts
Nursing school programs in California increasingly are recruiting minority students to help address health disparities in the state, KQED's "State of Health" reports.
Shortage of Black, Latino Nurses
David Hayes-Bautista, director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, said that California is "lacking" black and Latino nurses.
According to "State of Health," the majority of nurses in the state are white or Asian. Meanwhile:
- 8% of California nurses are Latino, while 39% of the population is Latino; and
- 4% of California nurses are black, while 6% of the population is black.
The California Board of Registered Nurses has estimated that growth among the Latino population will continue to outpace the number of Latino providers unless initiatives are implemented to boost Latino enrollment in nursing programs. While blacks are projected to be equally represented by nurses by 2030, the populations could be leveled out sooner under such initiatives.
Samuel Merritt University Efforts
Samuel Merritt University in Oakland is one school in the state that has increased its diversity recruitment efforts, according to "State of Health."
Shirley Strong, chief diversity officer at SMU, said, "The work of diversity at Samuel Merritt involves recruiting faculty, staff and students of color," in particular "African-American/black, Latino/Hispanic students because they're the ones underrepresented in our community."
Recruitment efforts at SMU include:
- A special emergency aid fund for low-income students; and
- "Pathway programs" in partnership with high schools to deliver specialized instruction to students who are interested in health care.
Under the university's efforts, SMU's nursing program last year graduated its second-largest class of black and Latino students (Eghan, "State of Health," KQED, 11/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.