Chris Gaul

1206 – Initiatives aimed at retaining ethnically diverse student nurses on undergraduate nursing programmes

This paper presents an integrative review of the literature focusing on the ethnically diverse reasons undergraduate student nurses leave the profession before graduating. It will also outline strategies for retaining these students.

Those tasked with nursing workforce planning are challenged to meet the needs of a culturally diverse and aging population at the same time that it is reported that the recruitment and retention of Bachelor of Nursing students is resulting in a trend of lower than required numbers of trained nurses. This problem is occurring both nationally and internationally.

We performed an integrative review of the literature to look at strategies that could be implemented to create and retain a more culturally diverse RN workforce. Key terms to identify relevant papers lead to the selection of 17 papers for inclusion.  From these papers, four themes emerged:

  1. Prediction
  2. Recruitment and retention
  3. Single facet approach
  4. Multi-facet approach

A wide variety of different initiatives and positive outcomes were reported from various studies, but retention is a complex issue and requires further investigation.

Many factors which appear to impact on student completion rates were identified. No one isolated factor can predict success across a heterogenous group of students. Implementation of a broad range of strategies from recruitment to graduation is likely to be a more successful solution to achieve higher graduation numbers amongst ethnically diverse students.

Supporting the recruitment and retention of ethnically diverse students is likely to assist greater numbers of Registered Nurses reach graduation and provide a more balanced workforce.

Key words:  student nurse; attrition; retention; minority.