Nurse aides are much more likely than nurses to be from racial and ethnic minority groups.1 Nursing schools and the aides’ employers could help to diversify the nursing workforce by supporting aides who pursue nursing degrees.
Some schools have scholarship programs and support initiatives for members of minority groups who are pursuing degrees in nursing, and many health care facilities have scholarships or tuition reimbursement programs for workers who want to further their careers.2 Partnerships could be formed between these facilities and nursing schools to help aides continue to work while going to school. Nurse managers could provide additional assistance by ensuring that scheduling takes into account the aides’ coursework.
Edna Alyse Simons, BSN, RN
2. Gilliss CL, et al. Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce in nursing: from evidence to best practices to policy Policy Polit Nurs Pract. 2010;11(4):294–301