Educating Nurse Leaders for Service in Underserved Communities

Development of a Plan for an Entry-Level MSN Program to Address California's Nursing Shortage and Increase Diversity in iIts Nursing Workforce

Dates of the Project: 2008–2010

Field of Work: Post-baccalaureate nursing education

Problem Synopsis: The United States faces a serious nurse shortage in the coming decade, and the shortage is particularly acute in California. At the same time, a lack of minority clinicians and faculty contributes to disparities in health care.

Synopsis of the Work: The Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, a recognized historically black graduate institution, launched the Dymally School of Nursing in August 2010. The school aims to prepare a nursing workforce with advanced degrees who can address the needs of underserved communities.

Key Findings/Results: The Dymally School of Nursing hired a new dean and appointed an ethnically diverse faculty, who then developed a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) curriculum targeting underserved communities. The school enrolled almost 230 students in three separate MSN tracks, forged partnerships with area institutions, and took its first steps toward accreditation.