Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Nursing


Janet M. Coffman, Emily Rosenoff, Kevin Grumbach

May 2001

The racial and ethnic composition of the registered nurse (RN) workforce in California is not at parity with the composition of the population. We find that the underrepresentation of African Americans in nursing in California appears to be due to lower overall educational attainment among African Americans. Underrepresentation of Latinos is due to lower overall educational attainment and, to a lesser extent, a lower percentage of college-educated Latinos pursuing careers in nursing. Improving the overall educational attainment of minority students is critical to increasing the number of minorities in nursing.