Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Expanding Diversity in the Nurse Educator Workforce

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Expanding Diversity in the Nurse Educator Workforce

Article excerpt

In January 2008, the NLN convened a think tank to help conceptualise strategies for expanding diversity in the nurse educator workforce. Co-facilitating the think tank were Sr. Rosemary Donley, PhD, RN, ordinary professor and director of community and public health nursing at the Catholic University of America, and Francis Henderson, EdD, RN, director of the Jackson Heart Center. Other representatives, nurse leaders recognized for their experience, advocacy, and devotion to building diversity in nursing education, were: May Mayor, Beverly Patchell, Drs. Rumay Alexander, Bronwynne Evans, Audwin Fletcher, Diane Mancino, Cheryl Taylor, Sara Torres, Antonia Villaruel, and Lin Zahn. Also participating were NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone and president Dr. Elaine Tagliareni.

The work of the think tank was framed within the context of the NLN's strategic plan and congruent with the NLN's mission and core values of caring, integrity, diversity, and excellence. The value and complexity of the work to be done were acknowledged, along with the importance of diversifying the nursing academic collective in order to prepare a workforce that provides safe, culturally appropriate clinical practices. The need to address change in organizational culture in order to create systems that value and promote diversity was acknowledged as critical to this process.

Framing the Issue Data from the 2007 NLN/Carnegie study of the nurse educator workforce, along with reports from the Division of Nursing, provided a framework for addressing the issue of underrepresentation of minorities, including men, among nurse educators. (For NLN/Carnegie study data, see Headlines from the NLN, Nursing Education Perspectives, May/June 2007.)

The discussion evoked the following issues:

* The relationship between the diversity of faculty and student success

* Consequences of failure to expand diversity in the nurse educator workforce

* Methods for addressing diversity in the nursing curriculum, at both prelicensure and graduate levels

* The extent to which NCLEX and other certification exams focus on diversity issues

* The relationship between diversity and patient safety

* The impact on student learning and ongoing professional development when students have faculty role models with life experiences similar to their own. …

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