The American Heart Associations Go Red For Women and Macys are awarding 16 scholarships of $2,500 each to help increase the number of diverse healthcare professionals while improving culturally sensitive, patient-centered care, according to a news release.
The Go Red Multicultural Scholarships are part of Macys Multicultural Fund, which was created in 2009 to increase diversity in the healthcare field. Macys is the founding national sponsor of the associations Go Red For Women and Go Red Por Tu Corazón awareness campaigns.
The scholarship program now in its third year champions greater inclusion of multicultural women in medical, nursing and allied health studies to better meet the cultural needs of racially diverse patients.
The number of minority medical school graduates is increasing steadily, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Among 17,341 medical school graduates in 2012, 1,163 were African-American, 1,294 Hispanic and 3,721 Asian.
However, the figures are low compared with the population at large. According to the 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics report and the U.S. Census Bureau, only 5.4% of African-American and 3.6% of Hispanic nurses in the nation are registered nurses. By contrast, African Americans make up 13% of the nations population, and Hispanics make up 17%.
The numbers speak for themselves, as the demographics change and more ethnically and racially diverse populations grow, there will definitely continue to be a need for healthcare providers who mirror these patients, Eva Gomez, RN-BC, MSN, CPN and scholarship judge, said in the release. Having more ethnically and racially diverse providers will make it possible to deliver healthcare that is meaningful, culturally appropriate and in the context of the person, thus making it patient and family-centered care.
Deidre Woods-Walton, RN, MSN, JD, national president for National Black Nurses Association, added: The patients cultural identification, spiritual affiliation, language and gender can all affect the care they need, and their behavioral responses to illness.