Breaking Barriers: The Black Nurse.
The U.S. may be more diverse these days, but we cannot be blind to the lack of diversity in the healthcare profession. According to the 2017 National Nursing Workforce survey, out of the 4.6 million registered nurses in the country, only 6.2% are African American. Black nurses are vital within black communities. Practicing in undesired areas that consist of a large percentage of black families, improving the quality of care that African Americans receive, and reducing the gap in cultural competency are a few ways black nurses can make an impact. With an influx of black nurses, there would be more opportunities for communities of color to receive care from people who look like and can relate to them.
“Diversifying the healthcare workforce provides an opportunity to destruct the systemic biases and racial inequities that persist in healthcare.” (Shirley, 2019)
As a black nurse, I feel it is always my duty to advocate for my patients, but on many occasions, I must go the extra mile for my patients of color. Hearing “Thank God you’re here” always gets me. Many black patients have expressed their feelings regarding the lack of compassion, patience or simply feeling ignored or looked over by non-minority healthcare workers.
As much as representation matters for our patients, it matters just as much for our youth who may be our future healthcare workers. Often students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds do not have the same preparation, resources or opportunities as non-minority students. One barrier I hope to be a part in breaking is the lack of diversity in the nursing student population. I created my organization, Fabuleux Nurses Inc., to highlight minority nurses in hopes to attract and retain more students of color. I want young men and women to see that they are more than capable of surviving any nursing program and that we are here to help them achieve their goals in any way that we can.
Fabuleux Nurses, Inc. is driven by one single goal to ensure that minority students are not deprived of an education due to lack of funds or resources. I aim to bridge the gap by providing financial assistance through our annual scholarship and wrap around support services through our mentoring program. With my growing collaborative network of nurses, we are here to support clinical preparation, transition and persistence to degree completion.
The Fabuleux Nurses mentoring program is designed to allow nursing students to network with other students, as well as nurses from many specialties through group chats and interactive events. Students who engage in our program will focus on clinical preparedness, ways to sustain a healthy school:life balance and how to maintain academic success while in clinical. Each student is matched with a mentor that will help guide them through their nursing journey. Without my grandmother, aunt and my family’s support, I’m not sure if my journey would have been the same. My hope is to help students, who may not have a strong support system or anyone to lean on when times get tough, have a better experience.
We will be awarding the 2nd Annual Fabuleux Nurses scholarship near the end of the year. I am asking the community to step up and assist us in helping another deserving minority student continue his/her journey through clinical to get to the goal of becoming a registered nurse. We could really use all the support we can get, as we are raising money for our scholarship and for supplies for all our students who are in our mentoring program at this time. It has always been my dream to give back in some way and I am grateful for those that have had a part in making my dream a reality. Thank you for your ongoing support!
To donate, please head over to our website www.fabuleuxnurses.com/scholarship or you can donate directly to our business PayPal account, email@example.com. For students interested in joining our mentoring program or nurses looking to become a mentor, please use this link www.fabuleuxnurses.com/mentorship-program. You will be asked to fill out an application and will be contacted once you have been matched with a mentor/mentee.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me!
Talk soon guys!
The Fabuleux Nurse