Increasing the diversity of the nursing workforce and supporting inclusion-oriented environments within the profession of nursing is one of the core values of UACH and is a driver for all of our statewide initiatives. In addition, we want to ensure that all nurses are well prepared to care for a diverse range of individuals and families: those reflecting different cultural backgrounds, different racial and ethnic groups, differing sexual orientations and various physical and mental limitations.
- Joan Gallegos
- Ana Sanchez Birkhead
Utah Action Coalition for Health – Diversity Statement
Increasing the diversity of the nursing workforce and supporting inclusion-oriented environments within the profession of nursing is one of the core values of UACH and is a driver for all of our statewide initiatives.
Diversity statements are increasing among organizations, universities, and professional organizations and relate to recruiting diverse students and faculty (Association of American Colleges and Universities & University of Maryland, 2001); having diversity in viewpoints, belief systems, and demographic make-up of staff, membership, and leadership (NACCHO, 2001); achieving access to health professions training programs by diverse populations (HRSA, 2000); and “…considering socioeconomic class, gender, age, religious belief, sexual orientation, and physical disabilities, as well as race and ethnicity” (AACU & UM, 2001, p. 1), (STTI, 2003).
The Campaign for Action’s Diversity Vision which is:
“to narrow the health care disparities gap, to support the importance of a diverse workforce and to help prepare the discipline of nursing to care for a substantial increasingly diverse population, the committee is organized to ensure that all Americans, regardless of race, religion, creed, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or any aspect of identity will have access to high quality, patient-centered care in a health care system where nurses contribute as essential partners in achieving success.”
The UACH is guided by this inclusive perspective and the Campaign’s vision of diversity as we act to diversify the nursing workforce in Utah.
Our working definition and operational categories for tracking diversity in the nursing workforce include:
- First-generation college graduates
Our goal is to prepare and position nurses from all of these underrepresented groups for successful careers in nursing in Utah. Ultimately the nursing population in Utah should reflect the general population of the state and intermountain west.
In addition, we want to ensure that all nurses are well prepared to care for a diverse range of individuals and families: those reflecting different cultural backgrounds, different racial and ethnic groups, differing sexual orientations and various physical and mental limitations.
Diversity action plans should be:
- at the right line of sight;
- data-based and data driven;
- developed to keep in mind, from the onset, issues of sustainability and infrastructure; and
- embedded throughout Action Coalition efforts, including education, practice and leadership.
This approach can be used to strengthen collaboration and coordination across programs and funding sources.
State Action Coalitions must have goals that embed and infuse diversity strategies in every element of Coalition work, by focusing on outcomes, emphasizing interventions and identifying interrelationships of different central elements by utilizing five criteria:
- build infrastructure for collection and analysis of diversity-specific data;
- make diversity an organizational goal priority using a systems approach;
- create a bridge to practice to seamless academic progression;
- achieve leadership outcomes on diversity by accessing integration and legitimacy; and
- establish strategic partnerships that strengthen the business case for diversity.
In summary, these elements identify the essential factors for a successful diversity plan: 1) data and accountability, 2) partnerships with strategic stakeholders, 3) funding and sustainability, and; 4) policy and practice.