Arizona Action Coalition Diversity Grant
February 1, 2015 – January 31, 2017
Overall Purpose: To prepare a diverse RN workforce by providing mentorship opportunities for nursing students from diverse backgrounds to engage in precepted clinical experiences with underserved populations and communities.
Vision: To increase the number of ethnically diverse students who successfully complete their nursing program, while promoting leadership opportunities for practicing nurses who are members of Arizona’s ethnic minority nursing organizations, to serve as mentors and clinical educators providing care for underserved communities.
Arizona is a diverse state with approximately 42% of its population belonging to a racial or ethnic minority group. The healthcare workforce in the state, particularly among nurses, does not reflect communities served. Existing data show that ethnic minority communities experience disparate health outcomes, thus highlighting the need to promote the diversity of our nursing workforce. The activities proposed under this project goal align with the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action’s Diversity Steering Committee’s mission to narrow the health care disparities gap, to support the importance of a diverse workforce and to help prepare the discipline of nursing to care for an increasingly diverse population. The overarching goal is to demonstrate positive individual (patient)/family and community health outcomes related to a formal precepted clinical/community experiences designed in partnership with the Arizona Action Coalition’s academic partners and members of Arizona’s ethnic minority nursing organizations.
Project aims are twofold among student/preceptor dyads:1) bilingual, bicultural students will successfully complete graduation requirements (retention), and will report positive experiences to strengthen their transition into practicing RNs; and 2) participating RN preceptors/members of Arizona’s ethnic minority nursing organizations will enhance leadership skills related to mentorship, communication and clinical education as both work in partnership to create individualized learning goals for precepted clinical/community experiences. This experience will occur during the students’ Community Health Nursing experience, currently in the last semester of their academic program. The design, implementation and evaluation of this project, including preceptor/preceptee application criteria, will be led by Adriana Perez, PhD, ANP-BC in partnership with academic stakeholders and other leaders of the ethnic minority nursing community. To reflect the diversity of Arizona’s population, the focus will be on bilingual students who are strongly considering practicing in rural areas, tribal communities, or other underserved community health settings.
Mentorship has been cited as a key recommendation to promote the recruitment and retention of ethnic minority nurses at all levels of preparation, including nursing students. Thus, an important component of this diversity action plan includes the focus on formally preparing preceptors of Arizona’s ethnic minority nursing organizations to serve as mentors and clinical educators, developing leadership skills in communication, advocacy, and community organizing capabilities – as they work towards developing collaborative partnership with community sites. One major strength of the Arizona Action Coalition is broad membership of ethnic minority nursing organizations, including members who practice in rural, underserved and tribal communities. In addition to graduation/retention tracking in partnership with academic partners, the project evaluation will include an assessment of experiences among both preceptor and preceptee, as well as patient (individual) and/or families whenever possible. The attached work plan describes overall objectives, action steps, project timeline and proposed deliverables to include a plan for project modifications as necessary, sustainability, and dissemination of best practices through peer-reviewed presentations and publications.