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Diversity has increased in the US and statistics indicate that by the year 2034 minority groups will be considered majority (Huston, 2017). The nursing profession strives to be as diverse as the population in order to keep up with the changing times. Minority population however, faces many challenges and, in many fields, including employment and education. Minority refers to a group of people that are often at a disadvantage when compared to the dominant group (Huston, 2017). They represent a large portion of the poor population although some are more diverse socioeconomically speaking (Mollard, 1999). Some of the barriers faced by minority groups, particularly, black males is the lack of persistence in school. This stems from the increased rates of unemployment, lack of role models (Dulabaum, 2016). Another challenge that is faced and also is related to the imbalanced economy prevalent in minorities is the lack of financial resources to access college education. Dulabaum also reports in a study of Black and Latino students that discrimination faced by these minorities involving stereotyping induces fear and poor confidence in their abilities to succeed in school.
The four generations represented in nursing today are: the veteran generation also known as the silent generation, the baby boomers, Generation X and Generation Y also known as millennials (Huston, 2017). The veteran generation is considered those born between 1925-1942 and lived through many wars such as WWII, Korean and Vietnam Wars. Due to their exposure to uncertainty they are considered to be cautious with finances, respectful and abide by laws and authority (Huston, 2017). Nurses in this generation are likely to thrive in a structured environment. The baby boomers share some of the veteran qualities while also enjoying and participating in long work hours as a means to advance in life. They are flexible, creative and independent (Huston, 2017). Generation X are known to value work significantly less compared to the other generations. This generation’s idea of success puts family time at the center and focuses on quality of time. Generation Y also known as the millennials exhibit a higher level of confidence, technology knowledge, achievement-oriented, ambitious, and have high expectations from employers (Huston, 2017).
The workforce is currently comprised of the four generational cohorts. Their different characteristics bring diversity to the workforce, increase team strengths, and bring together values and traits (Moorely, Everly & Bauer, 2016). However some of the challenges faced when mixing cohorts is the miscommunication among different generations due to different values and increased incivility which puts patient safety at risk as well (Moorely et al., 2016).
Dulabaum, N. L. (2016, June). Barriers to Academic Success: A Qualitative Study of African American and Latino Male Students: The League for Innovation in the Community College. Retrieved from https://www.league.org/innovation-showcase/barriers-academic-success-qualitative-study-african-american-and-latino-male
Mollard, K. M. (1999, September 1). America’s Racial and Ethnic Minorities. Retrieved from https://www.prb.org/americasracialandethnicminorities/
Moore, J. M., Everly, M., & Bauer, R. (2016, May). Multigenerational Challenges: Team-Building for Positive Clinical Workforce Outcomes. Retrieved from https://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-21-2016/No2-May-2016/Multigenerational-Challenges.html
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