Nursing workforce is becoming more diverse

According to the data from the Health Resources and Services Administration, the percentage of Black registered nurses increased from 8% in 2008 to 11% in 2022, which is a positive trend. However, it is still concerning that Black and Hispanic nurses are underrepresented compared to the U.S. population. The share of Hispanic nurses actually decreased from 12% in 2018 to 10% in 2022. Additionally, the percentage of nurses who speak Spanish also decreased from 9% to 7%.

The issue of burnout and racism in the nursing profession is a pressing concern, as pointed out in recent studies and reports. According to a survey conducted in 2022, 63% of nurses reported experiencing racism in their workplace. It is crucial to ensure that the field continues to diversify and that efforts are made to recruit and retain nurses of color to address these issues.

In conclusion, while there has been some progress in diversifying the nursing workforce, there is still much work to be done to ensure that the field is representative of the U.S. population. Addressing the issue of burnout and racism is critical to ensuring that the nursing profession remains vibrant and effective in providing high-quality care to patients.  

It’s not enough to offer employee benefits. Companies must provide benefits that employees actually value. That might sound obvious, yet employers continue to miss the mark in offering benefits their female employees actually want, according to a survey of more than 1,100 employed U.S. adults conducted by Verizon and business intelligence company Morning Consult.

Eighty-six percent of surveyed women cited flexible work as the top benefit that is “very” or “somewhat” important to them, followed by health and wellness programs and mental health resources, both chosen by 84% of respondents.

However, just 58% of women surveyed say their employer allows flexible work hours, 50% say their company offers health and wellness benefit programs, and only 41% report the same for mental health resources.

For every perk women say is important to them, the research found at least a 25 percentage-point gap in the share of employers offering that benefit. Unpaid leave programs made up the smallest contrast, with 67% of women surveyed saying it’s important to them, compared to 42% saying their employers offered it. Childcare services made up the largest gap, with 68% of women surveyed saying that support is important but only 21% reporting that their company provides it—a difference of 47 percentage points.

Christina Schelling, Verizon’s chief talent and diversity officer, says she doesn’t think the issue is that employers don’t care about their female workers or are cutting these benefits to save costs.

“Employers care very deeply about retaining important talent, especially female talent,” she tells Fortune. It’s more likely, she says, that employers are not asking their workers the right questions about what benefits they want, nor are they listening specifically to women’s needs.

“I do think that there is a piece about asking the right questions and in the right way to create a safe, open space for real talk,” Schelling says. She encourages employers to examine which employees are making use of benefit offerings and, if they’re not using them, explore better services that they’ll utilize.

Schelling also recommends relying on internal networks and communities, like employee resource groups (ERGs), to obtain candid feedback on benefits catering to specific demographics. She says Verizon often uses ERGs as focus groups to pilot new benefit offerings, host benefit fairs, and receive feedback on new services. Plus, the psychological safety and camaraderie provided in the groups help workers feel comfortable enough to speak transparently about the offerings and advertise new benefits through word of mouth, which is crucial since formal communication can only go so far, says Schelling.

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