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. Comparing State’s Racial, Ethnic Composition To Its RN Graduates

    Sep 09, 2019

    Find out how your state’s RN graduates of pre-licensure nursing education programs compare to the racial and ethnic composition of the general population between 2011-2017. States Alabama Kentucky North more

    Issues: Collecting Workforce Data, Increasing Diversity in Nursing, Tools & Tips: Dashboard Indicators,

  2. HBCUs with Traditional BSN Programs

    Sep 09, 2019

    Here is a list of Historically Black Colleges and Universities with traditional BSN programs: more

    Issues: Collecting Workforce Data, Increasing Diversity in Nursing, Tools & Tips: Mentoring,


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