Minority Nursing Students’ Perception of Their Baccalaureate Program

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice




Background: Review of the literature indicates that a number of barriers affect the success of minority nursing students and contribute to the high attrition rate. Identified barriers include feeling of loneliness, alienation, isolation, as well as academic and financial difficulties. To increase minority representation in the nursing work force and retention in nursing schools require understanding of perceived educational experience.

Methods: The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived educational experience of minority nursing students at a southeast rural regional university in Georgia. These students were also enrolled in a comprehensive nursing workforce diversity project called SCRUBS Program, a comprehensive retention program designed to support minority nursing students’ academic achievement. Data were collected from forty-six participants of which 90% were African American; 5% Hispanic and 5% other. Of the 46 participants, 85% were female and 15% male.

Results: Participants perceived their educational experience as “good, challenging, stressful, but overall positive and worth it.” Though participants noted that the nursing program curriculum was rigorous and overwhelming, available resources including mentoring, tutoring, peer socialization, and resources from the SCRUBS Program enhanced their educational experience.

Conclusions: These findings have implications for retention of minority students in nursing education. The need to create a supportive and an inclusive cultural climate is essential for minorities’ academic success in nursing programs.