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 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 in order to achieve health equity.


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 2018, 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.

  • 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


  1. A Delaware School District Program Provides Early Exposure to Nursing

    As its 2021 Nursing Innovations Fund project, Delaware’s Brandywine School District (BSD) piloted more

    Issues: Improving Health Equity,   Increasing Diversity in Nursing,   Locations: Delaware,  

  2. Lincoln University Student Nurses Thrive in HBCU Mentoring Collaboration

    A diverse nursing workforce means more access to care, and better care, especially for people more

    Issues: Increasing Diversity in Nursing,   Locations: Pennsylvania,  

  3. Purpose Prize Celebrates Changemakers on December 15th

    A nurse from Maryland is one of five winners of this year’s AARP Purpose Prize Award for more

    Issues: Improving Health Equity,   Increasing Diversity in Nursing,   Locations: Maryland,  

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Increasing Diversity in Nursing


  1. Action Coalition Co-Leaders and Key Contacts

    Aug 08, 2022

    The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action is a national initiative working toward an America in which everyone can live a healthier life, supported by nurses as essential partners in providing care and promoting health equity and well-being.   Action Coalitions, led by more

    Issues: Collecting Workforce Data, Increasing Diversity in Nursing, Tools & Tips: Action Coalition Resources, Internal operations, Mentoring, Organizational excellence, Location: National,


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