Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Nursing (BSN)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Nikiya Lewis


In the United States, non-Hispanic Black women are approximately three times as likely to die from pregnancy-related complications as non-Hispanic White or Hispanic women. Racism has been identified as a significant barrier to health equality and the improvement of maternal health outcomes for Black patients. Cultural competence and implicit bias in health care has emerged in part to address factors that may contribute to racial/ethnic disparities in health care. Both can impact the way nurses consciously and subconsciously deliver healthcare to patients of a different gender, race, religion, culture, socioeconomic status, etc. Nurses who are more culturally competent and aware of their own implicit biases provide higher quality nursing care which leads to better health outcomes for diverse patient populations. Because nurses make up the largest group of healthcare professionals, they are in a prime position to improve health outcomes and decrease morbidity and mortality rates for African American women of childbearing age. Nursing students must be prepared to join the professional workforce and deliver high quality nursing care to diverse patient populations.