Blog originally published June 22, 2019

Diversity refers to recognizing the differences in an individual and understanding that each person is unique. These differences can include gender, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, physical abilities, religious beliefs, veteran status, and more. 

The value of diversity in travel nursing is tremendous, as it helps ensure quality care is provided to patients, regardless of their background. When a nurse understands their patients’ customs, beliefs, needs, risk factors, and how treatment may affect them emotionally, they can compassionately administer well-informed care. Additionally, patients may feel more comfortable with a nurse who they feel can understand and advocate for them.

Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth.
Jesse Jackson

Diversity for Canadian nurses

Nurses who work in Canada are faced with diversity every shift. This makes understanding diversity and fostering inclusivity incredibly important when it comes to patient communication, care, and care outcomes.

Travel nursing offers first-hand experience working with diverse groups of individuals and patients in a range of settings. This experience will broaden nurses’ horizons and can deliver long-term career benefits for compassionate caregiving. In Canada, and among our travel nurses, some of the most common types of diversity seen include inner-city homeless, First Nations peoples and refugees. While some within these populations are under-served or face barriers to access health care, those who do get treatment may receive inadequate care. To mitigate this, it’s essential to provide cultural safety to these groups and all patients.

Recognizing your unconscious bias

An unconscious bias is a social stereotype about certain groups of people that is formed and held without conscious awareness. Recognizing your own biases is the first step to overcoming them. Each and every nurse should take the time to consider what unconscious biases they may have. 

diversity and inclusivity statement

Nurses and all other health care providers are just as susceptible to unconscious bias or inappropriate believes that can affect interactions with patients, communities and even fellow co-workers. 
Canadian Nurses Association, 2018

Diversity, equity and inclusion training

It is essential to promote inclusion and diversity within nursing. By encouraging and celebrating diversity, nurses can learn from each other and leverage each other’s unique knowledge and understanding to deliver exceptional care. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training programs exist to support individuals and organizations through education. These programs are designed to be user-friendly, engaging, and practical. They are also very informative because they are developed by diversity and inclusion experts who have deep knowledge of the subject matter.

Select Medical Connections & cultural safety training

 
Select Medical Connections works to include all and doesn’t tolerate the ism’s: racism, ageism, sexism, classism, ableism.
 
We are proud to support diversity and inclusion training for our staff and our nurses. We require all nurses going to Vancouver Island to take San’Yas Indigenous Cultural Safety training. San’yas is an online training program designed to enhance self-awareness and strengthen the skills of those who work both directly and indirectly with Indigenous people. Its goal is to develop understanding and promote positive partnerships between service providers and Indigenous people. Cultural safety is crucial to healthcare – as nurses, we are responsible for fostering an environment where our patients feel safe and cared for, and the San’yas: Indigenous Culture Safety Training Program aims to do just that. Our team was so impressed with the training, we extended the program to our staff members as well.
 
Nurses have an obligation to respect and value each person’s individual culture and consider how culture may impact an individual’s experience of health care and the healthcare system.
Canadian Nurses Association, 2018

Additional resources for diversity in nursing