Date of Award
PhD Health Sciences
Health and Medical Sciences
Deborah DeLuca, JD
Michelle L. D’Abundo, PhD
Genevieve Pinto Zipp, EdD
Retention and Success in Nursing Programs, Minority Nursing Students, English Speaking West Africans, Underrepresentation, Health Disparities, Diversity in Health Occupations
Background: The United States (U. S.) population is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. To ensure equity in healthcare access and outcomes between majority and majority populations, there is need for minority representation in the health professions including nursing to reflect their representation in the general population. Nevertheless, ethnic minorities are underrepresented in the nursing profession. One of the many issues identified to compound this problem is the lack of retention and success of ethnic minority people in U.S. nursing programs. While the English-Speaking West African (ESWA) population in the U.S. forms about 5% of the 45 million immigrant population in the U.S., it is reported to be a growing population and therefore impacts healthcare access and outcomes. Some individuals from this population have experienced retention and success in U.S. nursing programs, however, there is scant literature on their perceptions of the academic factors that contributed to their retention and success. This knowledge may help future nursing students from this population and even other ethnic minority populations to experience retention and success in U.S. nursing programs and add to minorities in nursing.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of ESWA born RN graduates from U.S. entry level nursing programs regarding academic factors that contribute to retention and success in U.S. nursing programs.
Methods: Using basic qualitative design with purposeful, criterion and snowball sampling methods, 22 ESWA born Registered Nurses (RNs) who had graduated from U.S. entry level nursing programs for not more than five years at the time of data collection were recruited to be part of the study. A nine-item semi-structured interview protocol, developed from the academic factors in the Nursing Universal Retention and Success (NURS) model was used with probes to conduct approximately 90 minutes telephone interview with each participant. The Interviews were conducted until no new codes emerged, recorded, and then transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were coded using open, in-vivo, and descriptive coding approaches. The NURS model informed some of the codes. Categories were developed from the codes for thematic analysis. Intercoder consensus was reached.
Results: Findings were that participants had to engage in study practices, seek academic support, access and utilize multiple resources, be proactive about their studies, and study with others like themselves to experience retention and success in U.S. nursing programs.
Conclusion: Findings suggest that ESWA born people can experience retention and success in U.S. nursing programs to help improve minority representation in nursing with appropriate assistance and directions. Participants in this study learned about the necessary academic factors in the hard way, therefore, there is need for individual or group mentorship programs to teach ESWA born nursing students about academic factors that lead to retention and success. Mentors in such programs must be from similar backgrounds as students or be given the requisite training in effective ways of mentoring ESWA born students. Additionally, the effectiveness of such programs must be evaluated so needed changes can be made.
Keywords: Retention and Success in Nursing Programs, Minority Nursing Students, English Speaking West Africans, Underrepresentation, Health Disparities, Diversity in Health Occupations
Ampiaw, Afua, "Exploring the Perceptions of English-Speaking West African Born Registered Nurse Graduates from United States Entry Level Nursing Programs Regarding Academic Factors that Contribute to Retention and Success in United States Nursing Programs" (2023). Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs). 3066.