Why Is Diversity Important in the Nursing Workforce?

A patient’s health outcome often depends as much on the nature of his or her interaction with a caregiver as it does on the technical quality of the medical interventions provided. Patients from diverse backgrounds may feel greater trust when, for example, their provider can communicate with them in their native language.

Not surprisingly, as the U.S. population becomes increasingly diverse, there is a growing need for a more diverse nursing workforce.

The University of New Mexico’s College of Nursing RN to BSN program is committed to meeting this need and provides two course offerings that help prepare students to work with diverse populations and vulnerable communities.

Nursing in the Community (NURS406), promotes public health and explores the bases for community-oriented population nursing practice, including health promotion, risk reduction and disease management and control.

Care of Vulnerable Populations (NURS407) focuses on how nurses can address the health needs of vulnerable populations, with an emphasis on studying groups who are at increased risk for health disparities.

“College of Nursing faculty and staff are committed to ensuring that diversity and inclusion are reflected in all of our nursing programs,” said Carolyn Montoya, PhD, RN, associate dean for academic affairs. “This is evident in our relationships with students and with each other.”

With a more than 60-year history of providing quality nursing education in a majority-minority state, the College promotes diversity through other avenues as well, including:

  • African American Student Services
  • Black Student Alliance
  • American Indian Student Services
  • Society of Native American Health Professional Students
  • LGBTQ Resource Center
  • Safe Zone Training
  • El Centro de la Raza
  • Unidos Mentors
  • Community, Research, Education and Academic Retention (CREAR)
  • Women’s Resource Center
  • Gendered Violence Prevention Program

The College also has a robust record of placing students in clinical settings throughout New Mexico, particularly in rural and underserved areas, providing plenty of opportunities to gain experience in working with diverse patient populations.

Learn more about the UNM online RN to BSN program.


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