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.

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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. In addition, male students represented nearly 12 percent of baccalaureate students and nearly 11 percent of graduate nursing students in 2014, up from 9.5 percent in 2005.


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 members of its’ state’s ethnic or racial minority nursing organization or of its’ men in nursing state chapter as a voting member on its most senior executive-level policy-making 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 Resources:

  1. Idaho is Gathering Place for Final of Three Workshops

    Jun 06, 2017

    On June 28-29, Boise, Idaho, will host the third of three meetings of Campaign Action Coalitions. “Building on the Campaign for Action Pillars to Create a Healthier America” will focus on how implementing the Institute of Medicine recommendations is contributing to more

    Issues: Building Healthier Communities, Collecting Workforce Data, Fostering Interprofessional Collaboration, Improving Access to Care, Increasing Diversity, Promoting Nursing Leadership, Transforming Nursing Education, Tools & Tips: Meetings, Location: Idaho, National,

  2. Mentoring Minority Students: A Pillar for Successful Leadership

    Jun 06, 2017

    The first in a series highlighting members of the Campaign for Action Diversity Steering Committee will feature the work of the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA). The 46-year-old non-profit represents 150,000 African American registered nurses, licensed more

    Issues: Increasing Diversity, Promoting Nursing Leadership, Tools & Tips: Webinars, Location: National,


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