Despite increasing minority enrollment in nursing programs, student attrition remains a persistent problem.
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.
In this qualitative descriptive study, researchers conducted focus group interviews with 16 recent graduates of accelerated baccalaureate and direct-entry nurse practitioner programs.
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.
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.
Author Affiliations: Assistant Professor, FNP Track Co-Coordinator (Dr Gona); Assistant Professor (Dr Pusey-Reid), Accelerated BSN Program; Assistant Dean (Dr Lussier-Duynstee), Student Services and Clinical Facilitation; and Former Faculty (Dr Gall), School of Nursing, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, Massachusetts.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Correspondence: Dr Gona, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Charlestown Navy Yard, 36 First Ave, Boston, MA 02129 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Accepted for publication: November 1, 2018
Published ahead of print: December 13, 2018
Online date: December 17, 2018