Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Curriculum & Instruction


Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Kieff, Judith

Second Advisor

Bedford, April

Third Advisor

Chauvin, Jane C.

Fourth Advisor

Mosley, Carolyn


This study was designed to explore the experiences of Black women who attended predominantly White nursing schools. A phenomenological design was used to investigate eight nurses who persisted through to graduation from their nursing programs in the 21st century. The study examined persistence through the lens of academic involvement, alienation, loneliness and isolation, culture, identity and fit, self-concept, and institutional climate and racism. In-depth interviews were conducted to answer the following questions: (1) What does it mean to be Black in a PWI? What are Black nurses' perceptions of the nursing school experience, (2) How did the Black culture fit in with the nursing education culture, (3) What factors influenced your persistence to completion of the program? van Manen's qualitative methods were used for data analysis. Interviews were recorded and transcribed and analyzed exegetically (test is organized around the literature review using the concepts that have already been identified) and thematically. The six themes that emerged were (1) Dealing with stress and nobody cares, (2) Indifference and the need for recognition, (3) Do they even know I am here, (4) Invisibility vs. Visibility, (5) Differentness, unfairness, and condescension, (6) Yes, I am Black and a Woman and I am moving on. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of Black nurses who graduated from predominantly White nursing schools by using stories told by those nurses. This study sought to add to the dearth of literature available on Black's experiences in PWIs which would increase awareness and understanding of Black nurses' experiences. Educators and nursing schools can then prepare programs to recruit and retain students of color.


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