From pharmaceutical and medical product manufacturers to insurance companies and consulting firms, the corporate sector offers minority nurses many opportunities to advance their careers beyond the bedside.
Five accomplished Hispanic nurses who just happen to be guys talk about the special challenges they face, the unique strengths they bring to the table, and why the nursing profession needs to recruit a lot more people like them.
The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), a federally funded program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently created Small Steps, Big Rewards, billed as the first-ever national multicultural diabetes prevention campaign designed specifically to reach diverse populations that have the highest risk of developing the disease.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, American Indians and Alaska Natives are 2.3 times more likely to suffer from diabetes than Caucasian Americans and are about 4.3 times more likely to die from the disease. Yet 100 years ago, when Native people were still able to eat a healthy, natural diet that emphasized fish and wild game, serious chronic health problems like diabetes, obesity and heart disease were virtually unknown in Indian Country.
From the first male nurse to be inducted into the national nursing Hall of Fame to nurses of color who courageously blazed trails in education, research, clinical practice and advocacy, the groundbreaking achievements of minority nurse leaders were in the spotlight throughout the American Nurses Association's 2004 Biennial Convention, held June 26-29 in Minneapolis.
Another highlight of the 2004 convention was a special reception commemorating the 30th anniversary of the ANA's Minority Fellowship Program (MFP), established in the 1970s to increase the number of doctorally prepared minority nurse researchers and clinicians working in the field of mental health and psychiatric nursing. Originally known as the Ethnic Minority Fellowship Program, MFP funding and support has helped more than 266 Fellows earn their doctorates since the program's inception.
The results of a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published earlier this year reveal that there may finally be some light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to reducing at least one key minority health disparity: higher rates of pneumonia and meningitis in African-American children than in their Caucasian counterparts.
FairCare, an initiative of Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), calls for the medical community to establish quantifiable standards of treatment for all patients, to help ensure fairness and consistency of care. But even more important, FairCare would offer financial incentives to providers who show a commitment to leveling the health care playing field.