Diversity in the Workplace in Nursing


Diversityin the Workplace in Nursing

October21, 2014.

Week3 Application: Diversity in the Workplace

Workplacediversity is the variety of differences that exists between staffs inan organization. Diversity at workplace is defined along thedimensions of similarities and differences that characterize staffsin the workplace. In a broader sense diversity encompasses suchaspects as race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, tenure,education, cognitive style and personality differences thatcharacterize organization workforce. The purpose of this easy is toassess the influence of diversity in providing culturally competentnursing care.

Importanceof Diversity in the Workplace

Diversityat workplace is highly attributed to organizations success andcompetitiveness of the workforce. The success and output of anyorganization depend on the capacity to embrace, develop, handle andimplement diversity plans within the organization. In the nursingprofession, diversity is an essential aspect that enhances effectiveand equitable provision of culturally competent health care services(Lowe &amp Archibald, 2009). Workplace diversity in nursingprofession facilitates provision of quality health care and overallpatient satisfaction. The essentiality of diversity in the nursingworkforces transcends the clinical tasks to areas of education andresearch (Leininger &amp McFarland, 2006). One advantages of diversenursing workforce are that it enhances and attracts diversepopulations. The diverse staffs in turn help minimize healthcaredisparities in cases of health minorities (Institute of Medicine ofthe National Academies, 2004).

Diversityalso fosters respects as employees learn to embrace talents andstrengthens that come with a diverse workforce in the nursingprofession these enhance collaboration and unity in healthcareservices provision (Sullivan Commission, 2003). In addition,diversity enhances learning among the diverse work force (AmericanAssociation of Colleges of Nursing, 2013). For instance, juniornurses learn a lot of important aspects from older colleagues,nursing educator from different racial or ethnic group. In this way,the diversity improves nurse experience and knowledge (Coffman,Rosenoff &amp Grumbach, 2001). Increased adaptability is anotherimportant aspect of diversity in the nursing profession (Lowe &ampArchibald, 2009). Employees from diverse groups bring to the nursingprofession diverse knowledge and experience that not only benefit thepatient but also benefits colleagues (Jeffreys, 2006). Broaderservices range is another important aspect of diversity in thenursing profession (Purnell &amp Paulanka, 2008).

Nursingas a human service profession deals with various individuals fromdiverse ethnic, region, age, race and religion, and this diversityenhances a representation of these groups in service provision.Furthermore, diversity in the nursing profession is important in thatit helps enhance effective services execution especially in improvingnurse productivity (Leininger &amp McFarland, 2006). In thecontemporary globalized world, healthcare institutions are called toserve in various workstations as educators, health staffs andresearchers, in this way a diverse workforce enhances easier workoutput and collaboration among different ethnic groups (AmericanAssociation of Colleges of Nursing, 2013).

Influenceof Diversity on Nursing Care

Inthe nursing profession each day the nurse makes a great difference inthe lives of diverse patients through provision of quality healthcare. In the 21stcentury the healthcare sector has become more multicultural in theglobal societies than before (American Association of Colleges ofNursing, 2013). In the nursing profession nurses are called to servediverse multicultural without prejudice, stereotype andmisapplication of scientific knowledge (Leininger &amp McFarland,2006). Quality nursing care is rooted on the ability of healthcareinstitutions in creating diverse healthcare professionals (Lowe &ampArchibald, 2009). Ignoring diversity in the nursing profession canadversely affect cultural congruency jeopardize patient’s safetyand patient health outcome (Purnell &amp Paulanka, 2008). Forinstance, a nurse who lacks cultural knowledge on forbidden foods ina particular community may administer foods that a patient may noteat and this affect patients’ health (Institute of Medicine of theNational Academies, 2004).

Manymalpractices in the nursing profession today attributed to lack ofdiversity in the nursing profession or sheer negligence resulting inadverse effects on patients’ health cultural insensitivity. Thereare growing studies in the field of ethnopharmacology, that indicateshow different drugs are metabolized in different ethnic groups, andthis calls for a cultural sensitivity in the nursing profession(Purnell &amp Paulanka, 2008). Without effective workforcediversity, individual’s appraisal sensitivity nurses work, andinteractions with patients and co-workers may significantly affectteamwork that is a core aspect in the nursing profession (Coffman,Rosenoff &amp Grumbach, 2001). Lacks of such teamwork have diverseeffects on patients’ health outcomes (American Association ofColleges of Nursing, 2013). The perception of illness and diseasevaries among different cultures vary among diverse individuals, andthis affects the preference approach to healthcare among thepatients. As such, a diverse healthcare is necessary to understand,communicate and eliminate cultural barriers among diverse patients(Leininger &amp McFarland, 2006).

Underrepresentationin the healthcare profession has adverse effects in compoundingpersistent racial and ethnic health minorities. In the United Statesfor instance, underrepresentation of African, Hispanics and Indianshas resulted in lower and less healthcare provision than the whites.According to the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) underrepresentationremains a great problem in ‘unequal treatment’ to minorities inmost modern healthcare institutions.

Underrepresentationof Minorities in Nursing

Inmost healthcare institutions, there are observable underrepresentations of minorities in comparison to the diversepopulations served this leaves many peoples with a feeling ofexclusion from the healthcare system (Purnell &amp Paulanka, 2008).In the United States, although tremendous changes have been made inthe health care sector, diversity and minority representation remainsa dogma in the healthcare system. There are inherent demographicinequality and isolation in the mainstream nursing professionalservices. In statics reviewed by a healthcare commission, thediversity gap in representation of Hispanics, Africans and Indians inthe nursing workforce remains pathetic (Lowe &amp Archibald, 2009).This ethnic underrepresentation has been a concern not only to thehealthcare fraternity but also the distinct patients’ populations.

Inparticular, there have been racial discriminations complaints,cultural insensitiveness and overall professional negligence wherepatients of the minorities are concerned (Purnell &amp Paulanka,2008).Due to the absence of equal representation in the nursingprofession, lack of cultural awareness in the diverse ethnic beliefs,religious and social needs have significantly affected the minorities(Sullivan Commission, 2003). For instance, nurses treating a diabeticIndian patient could administer food that is not in tandem with thepatients’ beliefs thereby appearing culturally insensitive to thepatient. In some cases, complaints have been raised that suchminorities are subjected to stereotypical verbal and non-verbalabuses which have gross implications on the authenticity of thehealthcare profession (Lowe &amp Archibald, 2009).

of One Aspect of Diversity

TheAmerican population is composed of diverse ethnic groups in varyingnumbers. According to several clinical and medical records, Africans,Indians and the Hispanics remain underrepresented in nursingaccording to Sullivan commission (American Association of Colleges ofNursing, 2013). This underrepresentation has been attributed to lowand fewer healthcare services offered to patients. In particular,there have been rampant claims of outright negligence, racialdiscrimination and lack of cultural sensitivity by nurses whentreating patients from minority ethnic groups (Sullivan Commission,2003).

Theproblem has been attributed to lack of transcultural awareness andcommunication leading to the various malpractice and culturalincompetence (Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2004).Most nurses are overly confident and fail to conduct individualizedcultural assessment before administering treatment leading to grossand inappropriate results (Coffman, Rosenoff &amp Grumbach, 2001).In this way, lack of effective representation of these ethnicminorities in the United States leads to continued cultural pain,anguish, heart attack and stress (Purnell &amp Paulanka, 2008).


Diversityat workplace in the nursing profession is vital. In particular, thehealthcare professionals serve variety of populations from diverseethnic, generational, spiritual and race among others. This calls fordiverse representation in the nursing work profession to enhanceeffective service delivery to all patients. Effective diversity inthe nursing profession is essential in promoting patients culturaldignity, respect among staffs and enhance a wide range of services topatients. In addition, diversity in the nursing profession isessential as it facilitates learning and tolerance.

Despiteinnumerable benefits of diversity in the nursing profession, minoritygroups remain under-represented. In the United States, there is lowrepresentation of Hispanics, Africans and the Indians and this hasbeen attributed to various forms of racial, stereotyping, negligenceand lack of cultural insensitiveness by nurses while offeringhealthcare services. The resulting effect has been feeling ofexclusions, cultural pain, and anguish and unsatisfying healthcareservices to patients of minority ethnic groups. Diversity in thenursing profession is key to equal and effective healthcare serviceprovision to modern, diverse populations.


AmericanAssociation of Colleges of Nursing (2013). Factsheet: Enhancing diversity in the nursing workforce.Retrieved fromhttps://www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/diversityFS.pdf

Coffman,Janet.M., Rosenoff Emilly &amp Grumbach Kevin (2001). Racial/EthnicDisparities in Nursing. HealthAffairs.vol.20 no.3 263-272

Instituteof Medicine of the National Academies (2004) “In the Nation’sCompelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health CareWorkforce.” Committee on Institutional and Policy-Level Strategiesfor Increasing the Diversity of the U.S. Healthcare Workforce. TheNational Academies Press, Washington, DC. Accessed October 21,2014 athttp://www.iom.edu/report.asp?id=18287.

Jeffreys,M. R. (2006). Cultural competence in clinical practice. Imprint,53(2), 36-41.

Leininger,M. M. &amp McFarland, M. R. (2006). CultureCare Diversity and Universality: AWorldwideNursing Theory (2ndEdition).Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Lowe,J., AND Archibald, C. (2009). Cultural diversity: The intention ofnursing. NursingForum44(1),11-18.

Purnell,L. D. &amp Paulanka, B. J. (2008). TransculturalHealth Care: A CulturallyCompetentApproach.(3rd Edition).Philadelphia, PA: FA Davis.

SullivanCommission, (2003). Missing Persons: Minorities in the healthprofession. A report of the Sullivan Commission on Diversity in thehealthcare workforce. Retrieved fromhttp://www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/SullivanReport.pdf