Our 2012 feasibility study has revealed and confirmed the importance of adding a nursing program to the educational offerings of LincolnUniversity. A nursing program at the University will help to remedy issues related to the nursing shortage, the increased health needs in our society, contribute to research and scholarship in the nursing profession, and to increase the numbers of qualified nurses from diverse backgrounds.
Meeting the Health Needs in a Diverse Society:
The US is a nation of immigrants. It is imperative to prepare a nursing workforce that mirrors the residents of the nation. Establishing a nursing program assists the University in furthering its goal to decrease minority health disparities by increasing the diversity and numbers of entry level nurses in the workforce. Other rationales for increasing nursing workforce diversity include:
- Patients trust for healthcare providers increases when patients see and know that the profession is inclusive for minorities and people of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
- The quality of care that patients receive improves when care providers share similar cultures, language, and communication. In addition, patient centered decision-making can increase and more culturally adequate programs can be developed.
- Increasing the numbers of minority nurses may increase patient access to care. More representatives from minority and vulnerable populations may seek care from similar individuals. Having more minorities accessing healthcare could improve early disease identification, provide preventative services, improve patient care, and safe lives.
- Having nurses from minority and various socioeconomic backgrounds increases population-specific needs identification, which can lead to greater advocacy, leadership, and policy development in nursing, healthcare, and health policy (US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), 2006).