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Herzing Staff

Cultivating Diversity: The Vital Contributions of Black Healthcare Professionals

By fostering a more inclusive and patient-centered approach to care, you’ll help to build a healthcare environment that fully values and respects the diversity of the individuals it serves.

Healthcare requires greater attention to diversity and representation than ever before. In many underrepresented communities, people have continued trust and security in their nurses and other healthcare professionals because of shared experiences and similar backgrounds. Black nurses play an important role in navigating current disparities in the healthcare system, making an impact on the lives of their patients simply by doing what they do each day.

If you are studying to enter the healthcare field as a black nurse, social worker or healthcare professional, here are some unique roles you can play in your community.

Understanding Diverse Patient Populations

Black healthcare students can be instrumental in the development of culturally competent industry practices. By understanding and addressing the needs of diverse patient populations, you can contribute to a more holistic healthcare system. Education programs like those at Herzing University emphasize the importance of cultural competence, preparing Black students to manage the complexities of providing care to various patient backgrounds and experiences. 

As a healthcare professional, you can:

  • Embrace continuous learning and seek opportunities for cross-cultural education beyond the classroom.
  • Attend workshops, engage in cultural competency training, and actively participate in community events.

By fostering a more inclusive and patient-centered approach to care, you’ll help to build a healthcare environment that fully values and respects the diversity of the individuals it serves.

Addressing Healthcare Disparities

Being Black means that you often have a deeper understanding of the challenges and systemic issues that exist across healthcare because you’ve lived it and may continue to live it even as you work within it. You can play a crucial role in addressing and mitigating those healthcare disparities. 

As a healthcare professional, you can:

  • Stay informed about the latest research, policies, and initiatives aimed at reducing healthcare disparities.
  • Actively participate in advocacy efforts within your healthcare community to address systemic issues.
  • Collaborate with organizations that focus on healthcare equity and contribute your insights to initiatives that promote fair access to quality care.

Through a commitment to equitable care, Black healthcare workers can become advocates for change, working from inside the system to reduce health disparities within the Black community and across other underrepresented populations.

Impact on Various Specialties

You have the opportunity to specialize in the types of care and services you provide. Whether it is in maternal health, mental health, critical care or any of the other career specializations, you can bring a unique set of skills and perspectives to better influence patient outcomes and the patient’s overall healthcare experience.

As a healthcare professional, you can:

  • Explore and embrace opportunities to specialize in an area that aligns with your passion and expertise.
  • Leverage your diverse background to provide culturally sensitive and tailored care.
  • Seek mentorship from experienced professionals in your chosen specialty to further enhance your skills and contribute meaningfully to patient outcomes in your field.

Recognizing and celebrating the contributions of Black professionals in specialized areas highlights the versatility and depth of their impact on the medical field.

Being an Example for Others

More than anything else, you can be the reason someone else pursues a healthcare career. We all deserve someone to look up to in the healthcare field to represent those that they serve. Empowering future Black nursing students starts with showing them such career opportunities are possible. By doing so, you will not only contribute to the diversification of the healthcare workforce but also bring new perspectives to the forefront of patient care.

As a healthcare professional, you can:

  • Actively engage in mentorship programs and initiatives that support aspiring Black nursing students.
  • Foster a sense of community within educational institutions, sharing your journey, challenges and successes to inspire and guide those who are considering a healthcare career.

Through mentorship and educational support, you can raise the next generation and ensure that they are also overcoming barriers and excelling on their chosen career path.

At Herzing University, we encourage all students, faculty, and partners to reflect on the broader implications of greater diversity across healthcare. By acknowledging the significance of today’s Black healthcare professionals and understanding the impact of those who have paved the way, we contribute to a more inclusive and equitable healthcare system for everyone. If you know someone who has the passion, drive, and service-first mentality to do the work, encourage them to take that first step and enroll today.

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* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2023 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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