NRS 429VN Health Promotion in Minority Populations Essay

NRS 429VN Health Promotion in Minority Populations Essay

NRS 429VN Health Promotion in Minority Populations Essay

            Health equality is important for the realization of optimum outcomes for all in America. However, not all the populations enjoy the privileges of accessing the care they need due to their ethnic backgrounds. Ethnic minority groups in the USA have been shown to experience significant disparities in health and health outcomes. Factors such as age, socioeconomic status, culture, and ethnicity influence their access to and utilization of healthcare services. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explore the health status of African Americans in the USA.

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Description of the Selected Ethnic Minority Group

            The selected ethnic minority group are the African Americans. Statistics of 2019 shows that there were 46.8 million African Americans in America. This translated into about 14% of the population in the USA. The African American population has been rising over the past years. For example, there were 36.2 million African Americans in 2000, rising to 46.8 million in 2019. Additional data shows that more than 4.6 million African Americans were born outside America as of 2019. The median age of African Americans in 2019 was 32, which is six years less than the median age of Americas population. Most of the African Americans resides in the South (56%), West (10%), Midwest (17%), and Northeast (17%) (Tamir et al., 2021).

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Current Health Status

            African Americans are disadvantages when it comes to health status. They are increasingly predisposed to different health problems compared to other ethnicities such as the American Whites. African Americans have an increased risk of cancer, stroke, heart diseases, asthma, pneumonia, and influenza compared to their white counterparts. Statistics uphold these assertions. For example, hypertension is more common among African Americans (12%) compared to 10% in whites aged 18-34 years and 33% vs. 22% in individuals aged 35-49 years. African Americans also have a high rate of diabetes (10%) compared to 6% in individuals aged 18-34 years. In addition, stroke affects 0.7% of African Americans compared to 0.4% of whites of ages 18-34 years. African Americans also have a high rate of renal diseases. The statistics show that their rate of developing renal problems is three times that of the Caucasians. Further, they have an increased risk of developing most cancers with poor prognosis when compared to their white counterparts (Pfizer, 2020). Therefore, African Americans have poor health status compared to other ethnicities in America.

Effect of Race and Ethnicity

            Race and ethnicity affect African Americans’ health. African Americans suffer from systematic differences in health due to their race and ethnicity. They have their highest rate of unemployment, low educational attainment, living in deleterious environmental conditions, and exposure to violence, which affect their health. They also have the highest rate of limited access to healthcare as well as insurance, elevated mortality rates, reduced life expectancy, and chronic illnesses, which lower their health outcomes in the state. When combined, these factors point to the significant burden that African Americans endure due to their race and ethnicity. Issues such as low socioeconomic development among them increase the barriers they experience in accessing and utilizing the available healthcare services (Planey et al., 2019). Therefore, adopting measures that address the effect of these factors on their health should be adopted in the country.

Health Disparities

            As noted initially, there exists significant disparities in health among African Americans as compared to the national average. Examples include the fact that health insurance coverage among African Americans in 2017 was 89% against 93% seen in the white Americans. African Americans also have the highest mortality rate due to heart diseases compared to white Americans. The differences have been attributed to the limited utilization of specialized healthcare and ineffective disease management among this population. Unlike white Americans, African Americans have the highest mortality rate and shortest survival due to different types of cancers. African Americans are three times more likely to be affected by renal problems compared to the Caucasians (Pfizer, 2020). Therefore, considering the above, significant disparities exist between the health and health outcomes of African Americans compared to the national average.

Nutritional Challenges

            African Americans experience some nutritional challenges that affect their health. Accordingly, most of them do not meet the recommended dietary allowances for calcium, vitamin B-6, vitamin E, zinc, and magnesium. Issues such as cultural influences on their dietary choices contribute to these deficiencies. African Americans also experience dietary-related issues such as obesity, overweight, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. African Americans also suffer from underfunding for nutrition-related courses, which contributes to poor dietary choices that cause obesity, overweight, hypertension, and diabetes among other health issues (Hargrove, 2018). Therefore, strategies that increase their awareness and access to healthy diets should be adopted in the country.

Barriers to Health

            Several factors act as barriers to health for the African Americans. One of them is medical insurance coverage. African Americans have lower medical insurance coverage rate compared to white Americans. The implication is that they experience significant challenges in accessing the care that they need for their diverse health needs (Planey et al., 2019). The other factor is low socioeconomic status. Most African Americans are from poor backgrounds, which makes it difficult for them to access and afford the care that they need. African Americans also suffer from limited educational opportunities. As a result, they have reduced access to employment opportunities, which directly affects their ability to access and afford the care that they need. African Americans have been victims of racism in America. They are highly prone to violence, drug, and substance abuse, which affect their health. Most African Americans also distrust health system alongside the American healthcare system being not tailored to meet their diverse cultural needs (Muvuka et al., 2020). As a result, they suffer from challenges in accessing and utilizing the care they need for their health.

Health Promotion Activities and Health Promotion Prevention

            African Americans engage in some health promotion activities. They include the utilization of screening services for health problems such as cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. Their increased utilization of these services has led to a decline in disease burden and severity among the population. One of the primary prevention approaches to health that may be effective for a plan of care for African Americans is health education. Health education is a primary approach to health promotion that aims at increasing the awareness levels of the populations at risk of a health problem (Whitehead, 2018). Health education promotes the adoption of healthy lifestyle and behaviors by those at risk for their health and wellbeing. It might be the most effective choice for the African Americans since it utilizes culturally-appropriate interventions to facilitate change (Pueyo-Garrigues et al., 2019). For example, nurses may incorporate culturally-appropriate dietary choices in health education for the populations at risk of diabetes for them to embrace healthy lifestyles.

Cultural Beliefs and Cultural Theory

            African Americans have unique cultural beliefs that contribute to their health. One of them is their existence as a unit. African American families believe in coexistence with the larger family structures comprising the extended families. Their families are also patriarchal. Men are considered the heads of their families while women ensure the needs of the families such as cooking food are met. As a result, family structures affect the decision-making processes on issues related to health and the involvement of the family members in the care process. African Americans also practice traditional medicine, which may affect their timely utilization of healthcare services (Muvuka et al., 2020). The functionalist cultural theory is applicable when assisting African Americans achieve their health needs. The functionalist theory views individuals, families, and societies as a system with interdependent parts that work together for a common goal. In this case, nurses working with African Americans should strive to understand the interrelationship of factors that influence their health outcomes and experiences with the care process (Waterson, 2018). In addition, they should consider the cultural norms, values, and beliefs that affect the uptake of the recommended care services by the African Americans.


            In summary, African Americans are part of the ethnic minorities in America. They have poor health outcomes because of race and ethnicity. African Americans experience significant disparities compared to white Americans and other ethnicities. They also experience issues such as limited educational opportunities, low employment rates, and lack of medical insurance coverage that act as barriers to health. Therefore, strategies addressing the issues affecting the health and health outcomes of African Americans should be adopted for health equality for the ethnic minorities in the country.


Hargrove, T. W. (2018). BMI trajectories in adulthood: The intersection of skin color, gender, and age among African Americans. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 59(4), 501–519.

Muvuka, B., Combs, R. M., Ayangeakaa, S. D., Ali, N. M., Wendel, M. L., & Jackson, T. (2020). Health Literacy in African-American Communities: Barriers and Strategies. HLRP: Health Literacy Research and Practice, 4(3), e138–e143.

Pfizer. (2020). Health Disparities Among African-Americans | Pfizer.

Planey, A. M., Smith, S. M., Moore, S., & Walker, T. D. (2019). Barriers and facilitators to mental health help-seeking among African American youth and their families: A systematic review study. Children and Youth Services Review, 101, 190–200.

Pueyo-Garrigues, M., Whitehead, D., Pardavila-Belio, M. I., Canga-Armayor, A., Pueyo-Garrigues, S., & Canga-Armayor, N. (2019). Health education: A Rogerian concept analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 94, 131–138.

Tamir, C., Budiman, A., Noe-Bustamante, L., & Mora, L. (2021). Facts About the U.S. Black Population. Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project.

Waterson, P. (2018). The prospects for patient safety culture. In Patient safety culture (pp. 371–380). CRC Press.

Whitehead, D. (2018). Exploring health promotion and health education in nursing. Nurs Stand [Internet], 33(8), 38–44.

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Assessment Description
Select an ethnic minority group that is represented in the United States (American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian American, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander). Using health information available from Healthy People, the CDC, and other relevant government websites, analyze the health status for this group.

In a paper of 1,000-1,250 words, compare and contrast the health status of your selected minority group to the national average. Include the following:

Describe the ethnic minority group selected. Describe the current health status of this group. How do race and ethnicity influence health for this group?
What are the health disparities that exist for this group? What are the nutritional challenges for this group?
Discuss the barriers to health for this group resulting from culture, socioeconomics, education, and sociopolitical factors.
What health promotion activities are often practiced by this group?
Describe at least one approach using the three levels of health promotion prevention (primary, secondary, and tertiary) that is likely to be the most effective in a care plan given the unique needs of the minority group you have selected. Provide an explanation of why it might be the most effective choice.
What cultural beliefs or practices must be considered when creating a care plan? What cultural theory or model would be best to support culturally competent health promotion for this population? Why?
Cite at least three peer-reviewed or scholarly sources to complete this assignment. Sources should be published within the last 5 years and appropriate for the assignment criteria and public health content.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

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