Diversity in the Workplace
We live in a society today that is culturally diverse. With this diversity of the population, comes the need for a diverse and culturally competent nursing workforce to care appropriately for patients. The purpose of this paper is to examine diversity in the workplace, its importance to nursing as a profession and its impact on the delivery of culturally competent nursing care.
Importance of Diversity in the Workplace
Huston (2014) reveals that age, gender, customs, religion, physical size, physical and mental capabilities, beliefs, culture, ethnicity, and skin color are all forms of diversity. Despite the shift in demography of today’s society, ...view middle of the document...
The baby boomers generation (1946-1964)-the largest group of nurses- are individualistic, materialistic, have strong work ethics, question authority, love ‘perks’ at work, are very competitive, and ‘live to work’ (Kramer, 2010). According to Huston (2014), generation X (1961-1981) embraces change, values flexible work schedules, is not motivated by economics, values family time and time away from work. The millennial generation (1980-2000) –the smallest group of nurses- are technologically savvy, value flexible work schedules, grew up in a multicultural society and need instant feedback about duties done (Kramer, 2010).
Multigenerational conflict might arise in the work place because of differences in values, attitudes, and behaviors between these four distinct generations (Kramer, 2010). By fostering an atmosphere of respect and recognizing the generational differences in communication styles, levels of commitment and compensation, conflicts can successfully be resolved (Hendricks and Cope, 2013). This results in positive work environments, with each generation lending their strengths to the improvement of the team (Huston, 2014), a nursing staff that is cohesive, better nurse retention, and nurses that are dedicated to providing quality patient care (Kramer, 2010).
Underrepresentation of Minorities in Nursing
A 2008 National Survey of Registered nurses showed that of the three million RNs in the nation, 83.2% were Caucasians, and only 16.8% were of minority background (Phillips and Malone, 2014). The representation of minorities in nursing continues to be significantly lower than minority representation in the general population (Huston, 2014) with similarly low numbers of minority students enrolled in nursing programs, minority nursing faculty and minority nurses in leadership roles (Phillips and Malone, 2014). Some barriers to successful recruitment and retention of minorities in nursing schools include inadequate financial and academic support, inadequate mentoring, lack of role models, culturally incompetent faculty, and few minority nursing faculty (Phillips and Malone, 2014). Eliminating these barriers, and providing leadership development opportunities for minority registered nurses, can help enhance workplace diversity and increase minority nurse representation in the workforce (Phillips and Malone, 2014).
Influence of diversity in Nursing
Obtaining diversity in the workforce, through the recruitment of minority nurses, should be a primary objective of healthcare facilities. A nursing workforce that is as diverse as the population it serves ensures the delivery of...