Increasing racial/ethnic diversity in nursing to reduce health disparities and achieve health equity

Public Health Rep. 2014 Jan-Feb;129 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):45-50. doi: 10.1177/00333549141291S209.


As nursing continues to advance health care in the 21st century, the current shift in demographics, coupled with the ongoing disparities in health care and health outcomes, will warrant our ongoing attention and action. As within all health professions, concerted efforts are needed to diversify the nation's health-care workforce. The nursing profession in particular will be challenged to recruit and retain a culturally diverse workforce that mirrors the nation's change in demographics. This increased need to enhance diversity in nursing is not new to the profession; however, the need to successfully address this issue has never been greater. This article discusses increasing the diversity in nursing and its importance in reducing health disparities. We highlight characteristics of successful recruitment and retention efforts targeting racial/ethnic minority nurses and conclude with recommendations to strengthen the development and evaluation of their contributions to eliminating health disparities.

MeSH terms

  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Education, Nursing / organization & administration
  • Education, Nursing / statistics & numerical data
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Status
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Nursing* / organization & administration
  • Nursing* / statistics & numerical data
  • Population Dynamics / statistics & numerical data
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Workforce