photo credit: Wallena Gould, EdD, CRNA, FAAN. 

Diversifying the nursing workforce is a promising strategy for improving the quality of health care underserved people receive. According to the National Academy of Medicine’s Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity, Black Americans are 60 percent more likely to have diabetes than their white counterparts. Rural residents are more likely to die of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Men at the bottom of the income scale live 15 fewer years on average than men at the top. A more diverse nursing workforce will be better equipped to serve diverse communities and help eliminate these disparities.

Many students from backgrounds currently underrepresented in nursing face social as well as academic barriers that make it difficult to stay in school. By supporting mentoring programs that connect students with additional resources—a key strategy for promoting student success—the Campaign helps to build a more diverse nursing workforce and advance health equity in underserved communities.

Mentor Trainings

The Diversifying the Nursing Workforce: Mentoring for Student Retention and NCLEX Success trainings were two-day workshops for nursing faculty on mentorship designed to increase diversity in the African American/Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) nursing workforce.

Our mentor-training workshops have reached nursing programs at more than 100 schools, including:

  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Hispanic serving institutions (HSIs)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) serving institutions

We’ve partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health, the White House Initiative on HBCUs, the Indian Health Service, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and several national nursing organizations—alliances that will further our future efforts.

We’ve engaged our network of state affiliates in Diverse Nurse activities. For example,

  • The Campaign’s Maryland Action Coalition inspired three HBCUs to seek federal funding, which is now supporting mentorship for nursing students statewide.
  • The Campaign’s Pennsylvania Action Coalition facilitated a mentoring program for nursing students at Lincoln University, an HBCU. Impressively, 100 percent of mentored students maintained a GPA of 3.6 or higher in their last semester and were on track with their post-graduation goals.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Training

September 2019

Hispanic-Serving Institutions Training

February 11, 2021

AI/AN-serving Institutions Training

September 16, 2021

Learning Collaboratives

The learning collaboratives meet virtually each month and includes representatives from the Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing programs and their associated Action Coalitions. These meetings allow the Campaign and a stakeholder in this work, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health, to offer technical assistance, peer-to-peer engagement and coaching on how best to implement mentoring programs to help improve retention and graduation rates for minority nursing students and increase first-time pass rates on the NCLEX.

To help nursing programs establish or strengthen mentoring programs and other supports that help students succeed, the Campaign:

  • Develops and shares resources and connects schools through learning collaboratives to encourage them to learn from one another.
  • Connects schools with government, association, and philanthropic partners that can provide financial or technical assistance.
  • Convenes meetings to strengthen these partnerships, and engages faculty and administrators in efforts to support student success.
  • Explores strategies for helping students meet their transportation, childcare, and other social needs.

HBCU Learning Collaborative

Second Tuesday of the month,
1 – 2 p.m. ET

Hispanic-Serving Institutions Learning Collaborative

Fourth Wednesday of the month,
3 – 4 p.m. ET

AI/AN-serving Institutions Learning Collaborative

First Wednesday of the month,
3 – 4 p.m. ET

Joint Mentor Training Learning Collaborative



American Indian/Alaska Native serving institution Mentoring Curriculum for Nursing Faculty

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation & American Association of Colleges of Nursing Mentoring Toolkit

Health Equity Toolkit

Literature Scan

Fundraising Toolkit Materials

Participating Schools of Nursing

Action Coalition and
Key Contacts List

Program 2-pager

NCLEX Trainers