Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jeria, Jorge

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


African American nurses--Attitudes--Case studies


In this study, 18 African-American nurses (15 female and 3 male RNs) discussed cultural values and beliefs that influenced their selection of nursing as a career, career experiences, and roles as health professionals in the African-American community. Practice issues/concerns as related to nursing was the focus of this study. Case-study methodology provided the framework for the research. Data were collected via face-to-face interview sessions, delineated in narrative, and illustrated with tables, which provided opportunity for comparative analysis. The research questions were: (1) As health professionals, what cultural values and beliefs are identified by African-American nurses? (2) In their roles as healthcare providers, how do African-American nurses perceive their practice as important in addressing the health needs of African Americans? (3) In what ways do African-American nurses perceive that they are better able to care for African-American patients than are nurses from other racial/ethnic backgrounds? (4) In the African-American community, how are African-American nurses instrumental in addressing health needs? (5) How is the African-American nurse's role as a health professional in the African-American community influenced by membership in professional organizations and church groups? Conclusions of the study are that cultural values/beliefs of caring and respect shaped the practice of participants who perceived their roles as necessary and important in advocating for clients and themselves as preferred care providers, better able to relate to care needs of African Americans and instrumental in addressing health needs in the African-American community. Implications of the study are (a) understanding belief systems that influence selection of nursing as a career may enhance recruitment of African Americans into the nursing profession; (b) African Americans are an untapped resource for addressing the nursing shortage in the U.S.; and (c) adult education is necessary for continued preparation of African Americans for careers in nursing and health-related fields. Recommendations for further research include exploring nurses' levels of education and effectiveness of clinical decision making in nursing care delivery; a longitudinal study of belief systems of nurses in practice; identifying learning needs of African Americans as adult learners in nursing programs; and identifying the nursing shortage impact on health care delivery in the African-American community.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [82]-92).


xxii, 117 pages




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