Academic journal article ABNF Journal

Double-Loop Approach: Recruitment and Retention of Minority Nursing Faculty

Academic journal article ABNF Journal

Double-Loop Approach: Recruitment and Retention of Minority Nursing Faculty

Article excerpt

Abstract: A culturally diverse workforce is vital to meeting the health care needs of an increasingly diverse population. The lack of minority faculty has been documented as a barrier to recruitment and retention of culturally diverse nursing students. Literature that addresses the nursing faculty shortage and the shortage of minority nurse educators is investigated. A double-loop approach to recruitment and retention of minority nursing faculty is proposed and includes the strategies of focused faculty searches, emphasizing internal resources of the academic institution, traditional and distance mentoring, nursing department initiatives, welcoming activities, and campus programs.

Key Words: Nurse Educator Shortage, Minority Nursing Faculty, Recruitment and Retention Strategies

The scope of nursing encompasses the delivery of holistic patient care to diverse patients, families, communities and populations. The essence of holism includes the understanding of the influence of cultural lifeways on health as well as on patient outcomes related to health. This cultural competence is defined as "cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity and includes the knowledge about a person's cultural affiliations and the skills needed to integrate the affiliations into the delivery of nursing care" (Kleiman, Frederickson, & Lundy, 2004, p.250). Minority health care professionals, particularly nurses, are in a position to be more aware of what constitutes culturally sensitive and competent care (Stanley, Capers, & Berlin, 2007). A culturally diverse health care workforce is vital to meeting the health needs of a culturally diverse population.

Currently within the ranks of registered nurses (RNs) there is a lack of cultural diversity and minority representation. According to the 2004 findings of the United States Department of Health and Human Services - Health Resources Services Administration (2006), 88.4 % of RNs were listed as White, non - Hispanic and 73.9 % of the general United States (US) population is listed as White, non-Hispanic (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). By mid-century the non- White population will outnumber the White population, and there will be no majority population (Sullivan Alliance, 2007). If the current trend continues, the US population will be more diverse than the RNs providing the health care.

The obvious need for increasing the proportion of minority health professionals is hindered by the current nursing shortage and complicated by the lack of recruitment and retention of minority nursing students. The lack of minority faculty in education is often cited as a barrier for minority nurses and nursing students (Robinson, 2000; Taxis, 2002; Sullivan, 2004; Mills- Wisneski, 2005). The Sullivan Report (2004) recommends initiatives that provide opportunities for leadership development in nursing in order to prepare minority nurses with graduate degrees for roles as scholars, faculty, and leaders in the profession. The current leadership at institutions of higher learning and institutions of health care must be committed to and accountable for increasing diversity in the nurse faculty workforce.

The struggle with retention and recruitment of diverse faculty exists with well intentioned institutions of higher learning that have relied on single-loop approaches to increase diversity in the academic environment. Examples of single-loop approaches to diversity have been identified by Paul (2003) as espoused theories that support special admission policies, emphasize numbers of minorities, and suppress negative images of discrimination at the universities. A double-loop approach (Paul, 2003) emphasizes the need for collective input from all stakeholders and a focus on strengths and weaknesses in the areas of unequal education. This paper critically examines the literature related to the recruitment and retention of minority nursing faculty and advocates a double-loop approach to strategies for the recruitment and retention of minority nursing faculty. …

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