I’m in awe of the leaders who surround me. But the majority of nurse leaders are of Caucasian descent, with barely a handful of nurses from various cultural backgrounds. This is a significant disadvantage to the profession and our patient population. Nurses can provide culturally competent care regardless of their own culture. However, diversity in the workplace speaks volumes about the purpose and values of the organization.
I believe in the importance of connecting with our patients regarding their values and beliefs. Since nursing school, we are taught to harbor an open-minded, respectful perspective to be sensitive to patients’ needs. Why does our leadership representation fail to adequately reflect our patient population? This concern primarily goes back to nursing school admission demographics and healthcare organizations’ recruitment strategies. Change must occur from within these organizations. I hope to be part of that change as I advance into a leadership role and reflect the diversity our profession desperately needs.
— Kesha K. Patel, BSN, RN