Two Florida Universities Partner in Effort To Boost Minority Nursing PopulationFlorida Memorial University, the state's oldest historically black university, and Florida International University have partnered to develop a joint curriculum that aims to boost the number of minority nurses, the Miami Herald reports.
Minorities represent 33% of the U.S. population and 9% of the U.S. nursing workforce, according to the Herald. A 2004 study conducted by former HHS Secretary Louis Sullivan found that a lack of minority health professionals exacerbates health disparities in minority communities. Sullivan said in a recent interview that minority health care professionals are three to five times more likely to practice in minority communities.
Under the agreement, students at both universities will have three curriculum options to obtain a nursing degree. Two of the options will allow the students to receive a dual degree in biology and nursing.
In one option, after spending two years at Florida Memorial, which does not offer a nursing program, students can pursue a nursing degree at FIU for the final two years. A second option offers students a bachelor of science degree in nursing and biology after three years at Florida Memorial, then two years at FIU. The last option also offers a dual degree in biology and nursing after spending four years at both universities and then completing one additional year of study at Florida Memorial.
Divina Grossman, dean of FIU's nursing program, said, "Together we are embarking on a project that will not only impact the ethnic make-up of the health care system, but undoubtedly increase the quality of care provided to the minority populations that are underserved by the current system." She added, "Increasing the number of nurses from underrepresented minority groups is a key strategy for addressing health disparities" (Bailey, Miami Herald, 8/17). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.