Racially and ethnically diverse populations have grown in the US. The US Census Bureau finds that approximately 37% of the population is made up of minority groups. Nurses currently make up the largest group of health care professionals in the US, and the need for culturally diverse nurses in the workplace has been identified by many nursing leaders. The demand for culturally competent care has brought attention to the need for culturally diverse nurses. Several studies have identified that failure to provide culturally competent care can influence health outcomes. A 2009 study published in Health Affairs found that increasing minority representation in the health care workforce could have a positive effect on curbing the health care disparities found in minority populations. 

The need for culturally competent health care highlights the need for a diverse nursing workforce, particularly since patients tend to migrate towards providers that share their ethnic background. Minority nurses and possibly advanced practice nurses are in a position to help these often underserved minority communities receive care that will increase their likelihood of compliance with medical treatment and increased health literacy.

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