Monday, November 5, 2007

This presentation is part of : Nursing Education Outreach
Minority Nursing Students: Strategies for Retention
Carmelle M. Bellefleur, PhD, RN, Nursing, Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY, USA
Learning Objective #1: Describe the need for increasing minorities in the nursing profession
Learning Objective #2: List 3 teaching/learning strategies to enhance success among minorities nursing students

Minority Nursing Students: Strategies for Retention


Racial and ethnic minority group members are severely underrepresented in the nursing profession.  Currently, only 13.4 percent of RNs come from minority backgrounds, although minorities comprise 43.4 percent of the U.S. population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006).  As we enter the 21st Century, the development of a nursing workforce that reflects the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the nation’s population is a major challenge.  The primary purpose of this pilot study is to develop nursing education strategies for individuals from minority backgrounds at Nassau Community College.


The profile of students in nursing programs for the past fifteen years has shifted dramatically due to changes in demographics.  Numerous studies have shown that minority students graduate at a much lower rate than non-minority students.


This three-year pilot study began on July 1, 2005 and will end on June 30, 2008.  Each year, 30 minority students will be enrolled in the study.   A Nurse Entrance Test (NET) is   used to identify students learning needs.  A skills enrichment program is provided at every level of the nursing curriculum to support the students’ teaching/learning needs.  A 30 items questionnaire is also used to collect data to determine how these students learn best.  Every year strategies will be developed and tested for effectiveness.  At the end of the third year, data will be examined and recommendations will be offered.


The paradigm shift seen today suggests the importance of creating alternate teaching and learning methods for minority students.  Nurse educators need to explore strategies that best fit the needs of this increasingly diverse student population. The results of this study will serve as a model for academic and service partnerships to facilitate retention and graduation. 

This research is supported by funds from the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA).