Coloring Books Inspire Future Minority Nurses

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs for RNs will experience faster-than-average growth through 2006, with job opportunities increasing by 21% in nursing, compared to 14% for all other occupations. The heightened need for qualified nurses combined with the rapid rate of current nurses retiring and a decline in the number of new, younger nurses entering the field is resulting in a full-blown nursing shortage.

In an effort to reach out to the next generation and encourage more minority children to consider careers in nursing, two new coloring books have been published. “Good Medicine for Our People,” written and illustrated by Linda Gourneau, MD, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara and “What Do Nurses Do?” by Melodie Chenevert, RN, are designed to teach children of color about a possible future in nursing or other health care careers.

“Good Medicine for Our People” is a coloring book that promotes careers in the health industry specifically to Native American children. It is published by Indians Into Medicine (INMED), an education program created by the UND School of Medicine & Health Services at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks to assist Indian students who are preparing for health careers. The coloring book includes pictures of medicine men and women and the plants and animals used in traditional native medicines. This rich cultural history of American Indians in medicine is then connected to the present-day need for modern Indian health care providers. “Today Indian people have only a few medicine men, but many new diseases,” the book explains.

This is a fun and informative way to teach Native American children about the possibility of a career in health care, giving useful facts on the many career options to chose from, including registered nurses, doctors and medical technologists.

To receive copies of “Good Medicine for Our People” by mail, contact INMED at UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Box 9037, Grand Forks, N.D. 58502-9037; by email at; by telephone at (701) 777-3037 or visit their Web site at

“What Do Nurses Do?” is a multiracial coloring book that tells the story of a girl named Jenny who learns about nursing when she is hospitalized. In the course of the book, Jenny decides one day she “might be a nurse.” The fun-to-read, rhyming text introduces children to various aspects of nursing careers, including both men and women nurses of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Nurses are shown in many different career capacities, including hospitals, schools, factories, clinics, camps, critical care, courtrooms, flight-for-life missions, universities, the military and more. Spanish and French translations are included on the inside covers. Copies of the coloring book, along with “When I Grow Up…I Might Be a Nurse!” posters and buttons, are available from Pro-Nurse, 15 Park Avenue, Gaithersburg, Md. 20877, (301) 208-8060, fax (301) 208-8013 or online at