et al., 1991, p. 24). In the report 21 Competencies for the Twenty-First Century, only one of the core competencies relates to diversity: Competency 12 advocates the need to provide culturally sensitive care to a diverse society by: “creating a diverse learning environment by recruiting a culturally and racially diverse faculty and student body” (O’Neil and the Pew Health Commission, 1998, pp. 36–37). NLNAC’s support of these 21 competencies acknowledges their value by asking nursing programs to interpret skills and competencies in the content, context, function, and structure of their programs.
ED also recognizes the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). This specialized/professional accrediting organization is designed to evaluate and make judgments about the quality of baccalaureate and U.S. graduate programs in nursing (CCNE, 1998). Conceived by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in 1996, CCNE began accrediting operations in 1998. A board of commissioners governs the body and serves as the final authority on all policy and accreditation matters. CCNE currently has no standards regarding diversity in admissions.
Another agency that has been working toward creating diversity in the nursing profession is the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP). Authorized under Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act, NACNEP provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary and Congress concerning the range of issues relating to the nurse workforce, education, and practice improvement. In its 1996 report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and Congress on the Nursing Workforce, NACNEP identified as a critical goal that of increasing the racial/ethnic diversity of the registered nurse workforce to meet the nursing needs of the population. In 2000, the National Agenda for the Nursing Workforce met and subsequently issued a report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (NACNEP, 2000, p. xi) that contains this statement, “The health of the nation depends on an adequate supply of nurses and a nursing workforce that reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of the population.” The report continues with the admonition that “Without significant interventions the nursing workforce will continue to be out of balance with the health care demands imposed by the changing population demographics.” The report recommends specific goals and actions that can serve as a national action agenda to be undertaken to address these issues.
As seen from this brief review, these three health professions have two common goals: to graduate students who possess cultural competencies and to achieve diversity through admissions. Accrediting bodies for dentistry, medicine (described in the next section), and psychology have relatively consonant standards relating to the acquisition of core competencies pertaining to diversity. As for nursing, NLNAC has adopted the Pew 21 Core Competencies with an admonition to nursing programs to incorporate these