7 Reasons Nurse Practitioners of Color Plan Differently in Their Careers
With upwards of 355,000 licensed nurse practitioners nationwide, roughly 25% of those clinicians are nurse practitioners of color. NPs of color are also known as BIPOC nurse practitioners or Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Other ways to describe nurse practitioners of color include diverse nurse practitioners, ethnic-inclusive, culturally diverse, multicultural, and minority nurse practitioners. Despite the variations in descriptive terminology, one constant remains–we may face unique challenges and barriers that can impact our career trajectories. These challenges require some careful planning, so here are some key factors to consider.
1. Racism and Discrimination: It's an unfortunate reality that diverse nurse practitioners can face racism and discrimination in the workplace. This bias not only affects day-to-day experiences but can also hinder career advancement opportunities. Unfair treatment in hiring, promotion, and pay can limit options for growth and earning potential.
2. Lack of Mentorship: Mentorship plays a pivotal role in career development, but nurse practitioners of color may encounter difficulties finding mentors who understand our unique experiences as individuals from diverse backgrounds in the healthcare field. The scarcity of relatable guidance can make it challenging to build supportive networks and navigate the complexities of our career paths.
Despite the variations in descriptive terminology, one constant remains–we may face unique challenges and barriers that can impact our career trajectories.
3. Limited Resources: Access to resources is crucial for professional growth, but BIPOC nurse practitioners may have limited opportunities to secure funding for continuing education or attend professional conferences. These resources provide valuable knowledge and networking opportunities, which can impact career development and staying updated on the latest trends and practices in healthcare.
4. Cultural Competence: Providing quality care requires cultural competence. Culturally nurse practitioners may need to invest extra effort in developing additional cultural competence skills to cater to patients from diverse backgrounds. This entails acquiring additional training and education, as well as understanding the subtleties of various cultures' communication styles and nuances.
5. Community Engagement: Addressing health disparities in underserved populations often requires multicultural nurse practitioners to prioritize community engagement and advocacy. This commitment entails dedicating extra time and resources beyond our clinical practice to actively contribute to improving the health outcomes of marginalized communities.
6. Work-Life Balance: Balancing work and personal life can be demanding for anyone, but diverse nurse practitioners may face additional pressures due to cultural expectations that prioritize family over career advancement. Finding a healthy work-life balance becomes a crucial consideration in planning our career trajectories and ensuring our overall well-being.
7. Burnout and Stress: The challenges and barriers faced by nurse practitioners of color can contribute to higher rates of burnout and stress. Dealing with racism, discrimination, and the complexities of our roles can take a toll on our job satisfaction and overall career trajectory. It is essential for diverse nurse practitioners to prioritize self-care and employ strategies to prevent burnout.
To overcome these challenges, diverse nurse practitioners, regardless of the term used to describe us, need to proactively address these factors and plan our careers accordingly. By seeking out supportive mentors, pursuing opportunities for professional development, embracing cultural competence, actively engaging in our communities, finding a healthy work-life balance, and prioritizing self-care, we can navigate these obstacles and make a lasting impact in our communities.
For support, mentorship, and coaching to thrive as a nurse practitioner set up a time to connect.