Pittsburgh Center to Recruit and Retain More Minority Nurses to Improve Minority Health

Between 2000 and 2003, Duquesne University's School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, established a Center for Health Care Diversity to educate and train minorities to become nurses and/or allied health professionals; educate minority nurses in health policy; conduct nursing-focused research; and perform community service.

During the late 1980s, the Pittsburgh area and the nation as a whole was faced with a nursing shortage. In Pittsburgh, disadvantaged students, especially minorities, were not receiving the academic and social support they needed to enter or graduate from nursing, health and allied health professions schools.

Key Results

The project accomplished the following:

  • Enrolled 43 students in the Health Careers Internship Program. Of these, 19 are still enrolled in high school, eight are working, and 16 are in higher education. The Health Careers Internship Program is a year-round program for disadvantaged minority high school students to explore nursing and other health care careers.

  • Awarded minority education scholarships in 11 nursing schools to about 20 students each year beginning in 2000. The scholarships pay for tuition and books (William Fitch Memorial Trust Fund).

  • Administered more than 1,400 flu shots through the Flu Shot Campaigns during Fall 2000 to 2003 in cooperation with 10 African-American churches in the Pittsburgh area.

  • Collaboratively enrolled 54 people from three of 10 targeted churches in Operation Churchbeat, a research project to measure the usefulness of a church-based educational program for adult residents of mostly urban, African-American neighborhoods.