Future nurses discuss how to achieve greater diversity

More than 300 middle and high school students attended conference

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds of future nurses gathered Friday on the campus of UMass Amherst to talk about how to achieve better diversity in their career field.

The goal of the conference was to brainstorm ways to put more ethnically and racially diverse people into the field of nursing and to make students aware of all the career opportunities that are available to them.

More than 300 middle and high school students from surrounding towns and as far away as Brooklyn, New York came to hear speakers lay out their ideas.

Tamya Brinegar from Holyoke Community College told 22News, “It used to only be white women like myself, and now we are starting to see males and Hispanics and African Americans, and it’s amazing to have culture.”

UMass nursing student Chibuzo Anene said, “Our country is extremely diverse; people from all walks of life, cultures, religions, backgrounds and sexual orientations. So it’s important that our healthcare workforce represents that diversity that exits in our communities.”

There are more than 3 million registered nurses in the United States, and according to the Health Resources and Services Administration, more than 83% are white.

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