Building BSN Diversity

Building on the success of opening health care career pathways for students in Scrubs Camp and the C3 Fellows Program, we are introducing the next step in our career laddering approach: the Nursing Initiative. Launching in fall 2017, the Nursing Initiative is a collaborative program of CCAP that exists to support diverse two-year degree RN nurses from the Corridor to earn BSN degrees.

The reality is that fewer persons of color obtain four-year BSN degrees than two-year degrees, yet the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) goal, which Minnesota is following, is for hospitals to employ 80% BSN degree nurses by 2020. Within the next five years, 55% of the 6,500 healthcare job openings in the Corridor are expected to be four-year BSN nursing jobs.

Anchors are investing in the Nursing Initiative because of better health outcomes – patients respond better to healthcare service providers with shared cultural competency. The Nursing Initiative will draw from Central Corridor zip codes and will recruit and enroll an initiative cohort of 16 Associate Degree RN nurses from Saint Paul and Minneapolis, collectively representing a racially and ethnically diverse cohort. Nurses will have access and support to obtain BSN degrees to be more employable and earn higher wages in Minnesota. Some program participants will simultaneously work at long-term care facilities selected by hospitals based on existing strategic relationships. The Nursing Initiative cohort will receive ‘onboarding’ training that positions nurses for success in acute care setting.