Diversity in Nursing

The nursing workforce should reflect the country’s rich cultural and ethnic diversity.


Goal and Impact

We strive for a nursing workforce that more closely reflects the diversity of the nation’s population. Increasing the number of nurses from different backgrounds, including races, gender, and ethnicities, will contribute to better health and health care for all. From such diversity in nursing comes a deeper understanding of the elements that affect a person’s health and emotional well-being, and ultimately, improved care and treatment.


The number of minority students enrolled in advanced nursing education is increasing. Some 30 percent of students at the baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, and doctor of nursing practice program levels represent minority populations. The number of men in nursing is also increasing. In 2016, 14 percent of pre-licensure RN program graduates were male.

This graph is a part of the Campaign for Action Dashboard, a series of charts and graphs that show goals by which the Campaign evaluates its efforts to implement recommendations in the Institute of Medicine’s The Future of Nursing, Leading Change, Advancing Health.

  • Racial/ethnic composition of the RN workforce in the U.S.
  • New RN graduates by degree type, by gender
  • New RN graduates by degree type, by race/ethnicity
  • Number of Action Coalitions with a member of an ethnic or racial minority nursing organization or men in nursing state chapter on a senior-level policymaking body
  • Diversity of nursing doctorate graduates by race/ethnicity
  • Diversity of nursing doctorate graduates by gender
  • States that collect race/ethnicity data about their nursing workforce (by year)

Related News Posts:

Related Resources:

  1. Wisconsin Report Highlights State Diversity Work

    Dec 12, 2018

    The Wisconsin Action Coalition wrote a report highlighting organizations, health systems and schools of nursing doing the best work to increase diversity in the nursing workforce. more

    Issues: Increasing Diversity in Nursing, Tools & Tips: Grantee projects, State Implementation Program (SIP), Location: Wisconsin,

  2. Wisconsin Produces Dashboard; Shares Progress on IOM Recommendations

    Dec 12, 2018

    The Wisconsin Action Coalition developed infographics illustrating how the state is fairing in each of the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 recommendations on the future of nursing. The Wisconsin Dashboard, modeled after the Campaign for Action’s primary dashboard indicators more

    Issues: Collecting Workforce Data, Improving Access to Care, Increasing Diversity in Nursing, Promoting Nursing Leadership, Transforming Nursing Education, Tools & Tips: Grantee projects, Milestones, State Implementation Program (SIP), Location: Wisconsin,


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