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Building Capacity for Nurses: Talented Women of Color Given a Chance
Women of color are under resourced, challenged with poor education, poverty (poverty rates: 23.1% of African American women live in poverty, 1 in 3 African American children live in poverty), diminished economic opportunity, single parent headed households and few workforce skills.
A personalized support system is essential for success in training and in building a career, as well as continuing to uplift their families and communities.
Because of changing demographics, the future of the American workforce will increasingly depend on people of color – by 2050, one out of every two workers will be nonwhite. Building workforce capacity in the health care field is essential for the future of providing good health care.
The major goal of the assistance and support given is to ensure that the students have the necessary tools and resources for successful careers in the health care industry. Eighty per cent of our students are studying to become Licensed Practical while the other Twenty per cent are on track to become registered nurses.
“I love and appreciate this program. I fell on hard times because I couldn’t work as much as I use to. I had a full-time job with the state. I had to stop working as much as I was accustomed to in order to maintain focus on my studies. The workload of school was getting difficult. Sometimes I would take off to gain additional study hours. IWWWE helped with my tuition payments. The women who led the program were always available to talk. The support was necessary and wonderful.” Paulette
With increasing awareness, the medical community and health consumers understand that there exist glaring disparities in health care delivery based on race, ethnic and cultural considerations. Many programs and initiatives sponsored by the government, educational institutions, philanthropic groups and health organizations address this issue. Discrepancies are reflected not only in those who receive care but those who give it, nursing students: women of color.
Talented Nurses students Provide Benefits Needed by the Nursing Profession
Diversity is needed in the heath care field. Trained women of color are able to provide nursing care to an increasingly diverse population. Experienceships that provide hands on work experiences ensure that our nursing school graduates are able to provide compassionate professional care to a population that includes seniors, all demographics and urban areas to an under served population.
The Experienship program was one of the best experiences in the entire program. Once you graduate from school you have networking connections and options, because of the experience gained through the Experienship program. Everyone was warm. It was great to work with nurses and the other staff and to gain experience in the field that I would soon be working in. This is something that you can include in your resume. When you are looking for a job, and they see the practical experience." Paulette
According to data from the 2008 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses (NSSRN), nurses from minority backgrounds represented 16.8% of the registered nurse (RN) workforce. Considering racial/ethnic backgrounds, the RN population is comprised of 5.4% African American; 3.6% Hispanic; 5.8% Asian/Native Hawaiian; 0.3% American Indian/Alaskan Native; and 1.7% multi-racial nurses. http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/healthworkforce/rnsurvey2008.html
Women of Color Nursing Students Overcome Barriers to Careers in Health Care
Impact by the Numbers
Since program's inception in 2006:
152 students have been assisted; the program has a 98% retention rate
95% are employed, primarily as nurses
More $110,000 has been given in scholarships to the low income women of color that we serve.
More than 120 hours per year per student are spent: mentoring and coaching to increase self-esteem, enhancing greater employment success leading to increased economic opportunities for students and their families.
54%-A program MUST for students
22%-Small stipend for travel and meals during work day since this is an unpaid experience but our students are living on the margins as they prepare for work.
9%-Mentoring, coaching and counseling to enhance self
7%-Other project expenses
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