The UCLA School of Nursing has been awarded a grant from the University of California’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions Doctoral Diversity Initiative to increase the number of underrepresented students in its doctoral programs with the long-term goal of developing a nursing faculty that reflects California’s diversity.
The new UCLA Nursing program, spearheaded by the school’s Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Robert Lucero, will invest a total of $700,000 — $350,000 each from the UC and UCLA Nursing — to recruit and support students from federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institutions of higher education in Southern California over the next five years.
While doctoral education in nursing continues to expand nationally, 64% of students who received nursing doctorates between 2010 and 2020 were white, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Measured against the changing racial and ethnic composition of the U.S. — and particularly California, where in 2020 the population was 39% Hispanic/Latino, 37% white, 15% Asian and 5% Black — it’s clear the demographics do not align.
“It is imperative that we take the steps today to build a health care workforce that reflects the diversity of the region in which we live,” said Lin Zhan, a professor of nursing and dean of the UCLA School of Nursing. “I am proud of supporting this initiative; we are grateful for the opportunity to work with other institutions in our state to promote diversity in higher education.”