Date of Paper/Work

9-2011

Type of Paper/Work

Systems Change Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Margaret Dexheimer Pharris, PhD, RN, MPH, FAAN

Abstract

The purpose of this systems change project (SCP) was to examine the marketing approaches used to recruit African American students into the nursing program at a predominately white university. Additionally, the project sought to elicit information regarding the retention resources utilized by black students and nursing faculty to support the successful completion of the associate or baccalaureate nursing program. The survey tool was delivered to students and faculty via the internet. Sixty-six students were invited to participant in the project, with a response rate of 18%.

Of those, eleven students responding to the survey met the project criteria of Black or African American, as defined by those with an ancestral link to slavery in the United States. Fifty-nine nursing faculty members were invited to participate and 43 surveys were completed for a response rate of 73%. Findings of the project were the university does not have any recruitment efforts specifically directed to recruit African American students into the nursing program. Many of the students became aware of the nursing program through word of mouth or via the internet. Students and faculty most frequently used the same resources, the learning center and multicultural programs. Faculty mentioned one-on-one sessions with students; however, this resource was not mentioned by students. Students and faculty commented on the need to increase faculty of color, and one-third of the students expressed incidents making the university unwelcoming. An area of differing perspectives was noted in the area of faculty knowledge of African American issues, 87% of faculty felt “somewhat knowledgeable”, while only 33% of students felt faculty were somewhat knowledgeable. In order to increase the diversity in nursingand to alleviate the whiteness of the nursing profession it is imperative to recruit and retain African American nursing students and faculty.

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