How Cleveland Clinic created a diverse nursing pipeline with the ASPIRE Scholars program

by Isis Monteiro, Research Analyst

We know that representation matters. Increased diversity in hospital staff correlates with improved care quality and patient satisfaction, better communication and cultural understanding, and ultimately, better overall health outcomes.

We recently co-hosted a webinar with Dr. Kelly Hancock, CNO of Cleveland Clinic, and Dr. Joan Kavanagh, ACNO of Education and Professional Development, about Cleveland Clinic’s efforts to increase the diversity of their nursing workforce through the ASPIRE Nurse Scholars Program.

Cleveland Clinic created the ASPIRE program to engage high school students interested in nursing, and create a pipeline of expertly trained, racially diverse RNs. The ASPIRE program provides a pathway for high school students to acquire their Associate degree from a partner community college, become RNs at Cleveland Clinic, and later pursue their BSN. The majority of ASPIRE scholars are women of color. The aggregate demographics from the four cohorts of ASPIRE scholars are 64% Black, 13% Latinx, 12% other, and 5% white. Cleveland Clinic expects to hire their first cohort of ASPIRE scholar RNs in 2021.

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How Cleveland Clinic prepares at-risk youth for careers in health care

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