Black Nurse Practitioners Lead the Fight Against Health Inequities, but Not Without Consequences

January 26, 2024

NPs are well-positioned to reduce racial and socioeconomic health inequities. NPs disproportionately serve as the primary care provider for Black and Hispanic patients, and are more likely to care for patients who are Medicaid-insured or living in rural or other underserved areas. NPs are also trained in a holistic model that prioritizes caring for the “whole patient” – addressing the multitude of clinical and social factors that may lead to poor health outcomes.

Despite their central role, virtually no research has considered the perspectives of NPs from a minority community. The NP workforce remains over 80% white, 8% Black, and 5% Hispanic–far more homogenous than the U.S. population. A diverse workforce is essential to understanding patients’ beliefs and values, enhancing trust, and providing high-quality, patient-centered care.

In our new paper, we sought to address this gap by conducting focus groups and interviews with 16 Black NPs in 2022 across the greater Philadelphia area.

University of Pennsylvania LDI

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