New York, NY—A nurse educator job search may seem like a good fit for a woman who wants to teach nursing and a woman of color who wants the flexibility to teach non-clinical education.
But in this country of equal pay and opportunity, there are barriers to women and people of color from advancing.
And those barriers are often hidden behind the guise of equal employment opportunity.
In order to reach the workforce that women of color aspire to, they must overcome barriers that often include stereotypes and prejudice.
The Nurse Educator Career Survey of 2020 (NECS 2020) found that women were underrepresented in the nurse educator workforce at an alarming rate.
While women of all ages, races, and ethnicities represented 54 percent of all nursing professionals in the United States in 2020, only 20 percent of them were women of colour.
And for people of colour, the gender breakdown was even worse: just 18 percent of nurses were white.
There were also a few notable disparities: While only 19 percent of white women were employed in the nursing profession in 2020; just 13 percent of Hispanic women were.
Women of color were also underrepresented when it came to job placement in nursing.
While just 4 percent of black women were hired to work in the healthcare industry in 2020 compared to 6 percent of Asian American women.
And while just 8 percent of women of the same race were hired in the workforce compared to 11 percent of men of the opposite race.
Women, like anyone else, must overcome a lot of hurdles to achieve their full potential.
But as someone who was born into a family that struggled to access health care, it was particularly hard for me to see myself as a nurse educator.
This article was written by Rachel Leach-Carpenter, a registered nurse and a student at The Ohio State University.
You can follow her on Twitter @rachelleachcarps.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.