Open Access Capstone
Nursing in Western Massachusetts faces a two-fold problem: there are less and less nurses and the ethnic and cultural diversity within the nursing workforce is low. This situation contrasts to the increasing patient population and the increasing ethnic and cultural diversity within the region. Increasing the ethnic and cultural diversity of the nursing workforce is seen as one part of the solution to the nursing shortage problem and is a documented regional, and national, priority. Increasing the diversity of the nursing workforce is important for equity and has been shown to increase the cultural appropriateness of care and overall patient health outcomes.
Responses to increasing the diversity of the nursing workforce to date have focused on supporting minority students enter and persist in nursing programs. This qualitative evaluation describes the process and outcomes of a pilot transition work-based program that supports ten Latina and African-American who are already working in the health sector. As Certified Nursing Aides, these women work in a position with the greatest ethnic and cultural diversity within the healthcare sector. This pilot aims to develop a model for the work-based support to minority CNAs transition to nursing studies in Western Massachusetts. This research evaluates the process and outcomes of the pilot program.