October brings us the opportunity to celebrate Global Diversity Awareness Month for nurses, a time to recognize the unique contributions of healthcare professionals worldwide. This month serves as a reminder of the incredible value that global nurses bring to healthcare organizations and the communities they serve.
In this article, we not only provide you with activities and incentives to celebrate this month but also shed light on the experiences and hurdles that global nurses encounter. We hope that these activities encourage you to foster inclusivity and compassion as you appreciate each other’s cultural differences.
Diversity in Nursing and the Significance of Celebrating Global Diversity
Diversity in the nursing workforce is crucial, especially in addressing the ongoing nurse shortage. However, there’s still work to be done to achieve better representation.
A 2020 Glassdoor survey on diversity and inclusion revealed that a staggering 76 percent of employees and job seekers, which is more than three out of four, highly value a diverse workforce when evaluating companies and job offers.¹
Despite this preference for diversity, a 2020 survey conducted by The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and The Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers found that the nursing profession doesn’t yet reflect this diversity. In this survey, it was discovered that 80.6 percent of registered nurses (RNs) identify as Caucasian, while only 19.4 percent come from minority backgrounds:
- 6.7 percent African American
- 7.2 percent Asian
- 0.5 percent American Indian/Alaskan Native
- 0.4 percent Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
- 2.1 percent of two or more races
- 2.5 percent identify as others²
This October, show your employees how important their diversity is for you by making the effort to educate your current nursing teams and other members of your healthcare facility. Doing so can help cultivate an inclusive work environment where everyone can share their uniqueness with courage and empathy.
Here are more reasons why you should celebrate Global Diversity Awareness Month.
Differences are special and valuable.
Nurses can highly benefit from learning more about cultures and backgrounds they aren’t familiar with yet. Acknowledging and learning from the uniqueness each nurse possesses adds to the teams’ creativity and problem-solving capacity in providing patient care.
Getting to know differing opinions, ideas, and traditions can improve patient care. It’s heartwarming and eye-opening to experience other cultures. Celebrating Global Diversity Awareness Month makes nurses more aware of the people around them and can keep them informed about the requirements of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
This awareness allows them to provide better patient care as they can learn to adjust to the needs of their team members and patients.
Diversity Incentives and Activities You Can Implement for Nurses
If you’re looking for activities you can organize for your nurses, we have prepared here a few that can help them become more educated and inclusive of the people around them.
1. Support small food businesses as you treat your nurses to diverse meals for lunch.
Nursing is a challenging and exhausting job to have. Your nurses need to rest and eat well to stay healthy. Treating your nurses to a diverse cuisine for lunch tells them that you care about them at the same time they gain a new experience.
Providing your nurses with a variety of cuisines for lunch not only demonstrates your care for them but also allows them to explore new culinary experiences.
Encourage them to immerse themselves in other cultures and customs through the enjoyment of diverse foods. This is also an excellent opportunity to celebrate and support small or emerging businesses owned by individuals from minority backgrounds.
Since your nurses will most likely be busy caring for their patients, you may choose to bring the food to their break rooms and let them eat on their respective breaks. Remember to first ask your nurses about any allergies they may have so you can avoid serving them food that can trigger an allergic reaction to ensure their safety and comfort.
2. Work with diverse coaches to help manage burnout.
In a two-year impact survey by the American Nurses Association Enterprise, burnout affects a significant portion of U.S. nurses, with 49 percent of 11,964 respondents reporting its impact. Alarmingly, burnout appears more severe among nurses under the age of 25, with 70 percent experiencing it, compared to 49 percent of those aged 45 to 54.³
Help your nurses cope with their struggles by working with diverse coaches and other experts who can aid them in their journey to wellness. Provide them with people who can support and understand them. Experts who share similar backgrounds with your nurses are better equipped to understand their struggles.
You can also consider collaborating with professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, and career advisors to address various aspects of your workforce’s well-being.
If you wish to know which experts can help them best, ask your nurses through surveys to identify their current struggles at work or in their personal lives that may affect their jobs. This proactive approach ensures tailored assistance for your nursing staff.
3. Partner with a charity that helps people from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds.
Partnering with a charity to help people from low socioeconomic backgrounds is done best when your nurses can provide these people with direct care. However, due to the current need for facilities to hire more nurses, you can instead provide help by encouraging your nurses to donate medicines and first aid kits to the community.
If they have time to provide care to those in need but don’t have enough time to travel, you can also choose to set up tents or rooms in your facility for volunteering nurses where you can invite people around your area for free basic nursing care.
4. Organize DEI-related training programs.
In the report series Racism in Nursing by the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing, 76 percent of respondents said they have witnessed racism at their jobs and 63 percent have personally experienced racism where they work. Black nurses, at 92 percent, have experienced racism the most.⁴
It’s crucial to provide DEI-related training programs for your nursing staff. Educating and training your nurses on diversity can allow them to deliver unbiased care to their patients who belong to various cultures, socioeconomic statuses, backgrounds, genders, races, and religions.
This can help them understand better the cultural influences that affect their teammates’ and their patients’ beliefs about health and how they respond to certain medications and procedures. Here are some topics you can educate your nurses about:
- Racism in Healthcare
- The difference between diversity and inclusion
- Intentional Inclusion
- Unconscious Bias
- Microaggressions in the workplace
- How to Support Gender Identity and Expression
- Bystander Intervention
5. Encourage nurses to tell their stories.
Encouraging nurses to share their stories can be a powerful way to enhance their communication skills and empathy. Consider implementing regular storytelling sessions where your nursing teams gather briefly at the end of each shift. Encourage one or two individuals each day to share their unique stories related to their cultural backgrounds.
You can create a set of guide questions that can help them tell more of their story. You may ask them about their experiences or struggles growing up or in pursuing their career and how they navigated these challenges. Come up with questions that can inspire listening nurses to be kinder and that can encourage storytellers to be stronger.
The goal here is to broaden everyone’s understanding of what diversity truly means and to inspire them to take inclusive actions that can foster a sense of comfort and belonging for their colleagues and patients alike. This applies both inside and outside of the facility.
Your diverse team of nurses deserves to be celebrated!
This month isn’t only about staying aware and informed. It’s also about connecting with your diverse team of nurses and showing them how much you appreciate their hard work. Thank them and let them know how much they’re valued by your facility and the patients they’ve taken care of through the diversity awareness programs you implement.
EXPAND YOUR WORKFORCE BY HIRING DIVERSE NURSES WITH PRS GLOBAL
If you wish to expand your workforce with more diverse candidates in nursing, PRS Global is here to help you get in touch with the best global nurses and directly hire them.
We’ll help them take care of their employment requirements to immediately get them started on their new job with you in the U.S. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services.
1 “Diversity & Inclusion Workplace Survey.” Glassdoor, 30 Sept. 2020, www.glassdoor.com/employers/blog/diversity-inclusion-workplace-survey/.
2 Smiley, Richard A., et al. “The 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey.” Journal of Nursing Regulation, www.journalofnursingregulation.com/article/S2155-8256(21)00027-2/fulltext. Accessed 1 Sept. 2023.
3 “COVID-19 Impact Assessment Survey – The Second Year.” American Nurses Association, www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/work-environment/health-safety/disaster-preparedness/coronavirus/what-you-need-to-know/covid-19-impact-assessment-survey—the-second-year/. Accessed 1 Sept. 2023.
4 “Racism in Nursing.” American Nurses Association, www.nursingworld.org/~49c4d0/globalassets/practiceandpolicy/workforce/commission-to-address-racism/racism-in-nursing-report-series.pdf. Accessed 1 Sept. 2023.