Hispanic Nursing School Admissions On Downward Spiral, Says New Data

Hispanic Nursing School Admissions On Downward Spiral, Says New Data

Hispanic enrollments in undergraduate nursing programs continue to drop, according to a new study, even as the largest minority group in the country continues to grow.

A review of 2004-2005 enrollment data by the National League of Nursing found that Hispanic students represent only 5.3 percent of all nursing students, compared with more than 10 percent of the total undergraduate population.

“Culturally competent care is very important, and with the Hispanic population rapidly growing, we are very concerned that Hispanics are not choosing nursing as a profession,” says Dr. Ruth Corcoran, NLN’s chief executive officer.

Although the quality of students accepted at nursing programs is higher than ever, Corcoran says, so is the competition to get into nursing schools.

“Schools are saturated, and they don’t have enough qualified faculty,” she says. “There are not enough Hispanic role models as faculty.”

According to the “Nursing Data Review,” between 1994 and 2002, the total percentage of minority nursing students grew to more than 20 percent. By 2002, it appeared to have stagnated.

The drop could be due to a change in racial classification, suggests Kathy Kaufman, a senior research analyst for the league. She says the organization has added an “other” category as a classification option.
While the students classified in race-specific categories have declined, the numbers for the “other” category has increased, says Kaufman.

— By Shilpa Banerji

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