Achieving Diversity: A Comprehensive Approach To Nursing Workforce Diversity Enhancement

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 9:10 AM

Jean Swinney, PhD, RN
Nursing, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
Candida M. Brooks-Harrison, MSW
Brooklyn College - CUNY , Brooklyn, NY, Brooklyn, NY
May T. Dobal, PhD, MN, BS, AAS
Long Island University Brooklyn Campus, Brooklyn, NY

Learning Objective 1: "The learner will be able to describe at least three important elements of the SAFER Model"

Learning Objective 2: "The learner will be able to identify at least three key elements or activities associated with student support and success"

This initiative addresses the goal of achieving health equity and better health for underrepresented populations by addressing the link associated with health disparities and workforce diversity by recruiting, mentoring, supporting and graduating a more diverse workforce. Lack of diversity in nursing is well documented.  In addition, when diverse nursing students are recruited from external geographical areas, there is a greater possibility upon graduation they will return to their respective communities to work.

The Achieving Diversity Initiative (ADI) believes that by creating opportunities and providing support for area students, they will be more inclined to choose a career in nursing and remain in their home community. The work of the ADI is based upon reflective practice and the SAFER Model (Swinney & Dobal, 2004) that supports participants socially, academically, financially and economically to promote retention, graduation and entry into the workforce among minority and disadvantaged students. We nurture, support, and monitor progress of participating students. We take personal interest in students and their families in participating schools of nursing, middle and high schools.

The work of the Initiative has resulted in increased awareness in nursing. Students who have participated in a variety of activities and nursing clubs at their own schools have maintained an interest in nursing and successfully embraced nursing in college. Students presently in nursing school participate and mentor students in high school. Community college and University students work together and are actively engaged in mentoring. They also serve as excellent exemplars to the students and future nurses of tomorrow. This presentation will describe the SAFER Model utilized by this initiative, and selected activities implemented, including examples of success and community support.

We will share assessment results and discuss opportunities to enroll and gain admittance into a nursing program based on our experience with the Achieving Diversity Initiative.