BRING DIVERSITY TO NURSING: RECRUITMENT, RETENTION, AND GRADUATION OF NURSING STUDENTS

Despite modest gains in ethnic and racial minority representation in the nursing profession, the current nursing workforce does not mirror the U.S. population. Efforts to increase and maintain baccalaureate-prepared minority nurses to begin to reflect the diverse population needing culturally responsive, high quality care is a continuing goal of nursing education and practice. Because of this, initiatives focusing on increasing ethnic and cultural diversity of healthcare workers are of high priority. The Bring Diversity to Nursing (BDN) project describes the University of Massachusetts Lowell's success at pre-entry, retention, and graduation of minority and educationally and economically disadvantaged students. The resultant graduation and practice of BDN students as professional nurses can contribute to addressing health care needs and reducing health disparities in the Lowell and Lawrence communities and beyond. Key Words: Diversity, Pre-entry Recruitment, Nursing Student Retention, Economically Disadvantaged, Educationally Disadvantaged, Health Disparities, Culturally Competent Care, Baccalaureate Nurses, Nursing Education.

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