The lived experience of socialization among African-American nursing students in a predominantly White university

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Purpose: This study explored the phenomenon of socialization among African American nursing students in predominantly White universities. Recruitment and retention of African American nursing students is in lower percentages compared with other groups. Many nursing schools reflect a culture of the White middle class, which may present a barrier to minority students by requiring students to socialize to a culture different from their own. Overcoming such barriers cannot begin until the experience of socialization is understood. Design: A sample consisting of eight co-researchers was used who all attended nursing school at a predominantly White university. Interviews were analyzed using Colaizzi’s phenomenological method. Results: The following six themes emerged: Theme 1—The Strength to Pursue More, Theme 2—Encounters With Discrimination, Theme 3—Pressure to Succeed, Theme 4—Isolation and Sticking Together, Theme 5—To Fit In and Talk White, and Theme 6—To Learn With New Friends and Old Ones. Conclusions: This study found a strongly consistent process of socialization to the dominant norm, and raised questions about the effects of this process on African American nursing students and its impact on improving patient care.


Copyright 2010 The Author(s), published by Sage

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Journal of Transcultural Nursing

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Love, K (2010) The lived experience of socialization among African- American nursing students in a predominantly White university. Journal of Transcultural Nursing. 21(4), 342-350. doi:10.1177/1043659609360711



Peer Reviewed