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Keywords

alumni, black nursing alumni, diversity, minority nurses, school of nursing

 

Authors

  1. Gona, Clara PhD, FNP-BC
  2. Pusey-Reid, Eleonor DNP, RN, MEd, CCRN
  3. Lussier-Duynstee, Patricia PhD, RN
  4. Gall, Gail PhD, RN

Abstract

Background: Despite increasing minority enrollment in nursing programs, student attrition remains a persistent problem.

 

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the experiences of a diverse group of black alumni at a predominantly white institution in the United States.

 

Method: In this qualitative descriptive study, researchers conducted focus group interviews with 16 recent graduates of accelerated baccalaureate and direct-entry nurse practitioner programs.

 

Results: Four themes emerged as barriers to success: burden of exclusion and isolation, lack of diversity among students and faculty, struggling to find mentors, and cultural assumptions. Five themes captured the strategies alumni adopted to succeed: strength in numbers, helpful mentors, resilience, faith, and self-silencing.

 

Conclusion: Participants experienced challenges but successfully navigated the program until they graduated. The study findings lay the groundwork for the development of programs that foster success for all students.