The Place of Race in Cultural Nursing Education: The Experience of White BSN Nursing Faculty
The growing cultural diversity in the United States confronts human service professions such as nursing with challenges to fundamental values of social justice and caring. Non-White individuals have experienced long-documented and persistent disparities in health outcomes and receipt of health care services when compared to whites. Medical evidence suggests that health care disparities experienced by non- Whites in the U.S. are perpetuated, in part, by bias, discrimination, and stereotyping by health care providers. National experts recommend cultural competence education to fix this problem. The cultural competence focus in nursing education programs has been criticized by some nursing scholars for essentializing culture and failing to examine the dynamics of race and racism in U.S. society. Yet, the call for an explicit focus on race and racism raises the question, “Are nursing faculty, of whom 93% are White, prepared to teach students about race and racism?” This study investigated what White nursing faculty members who teach cultural nursing education think, believe, and teach about race, racism, and anti-racism. The study resulted in four conclusions that are of interest not only to nursing faculty who teach cultural topics, but to any nursing faculty who wish to prepare students to work for justice in a culturally and racially diverse society. First, the findings suggest that the Whiteness of the participants’ personal and professional experiences and contexts obscured their understanding and teaching of race, racism, and anti-racism. Second, learning about race, racism, and anti-racism was best understood as a lifelong developmental process and warrants developmental learning goals. Third, teaching about race, racism, and anti-racism was most effective when grounded in relational, holistic pedagogies. Finally, the findings of the study suggest that the White faculty participants were not well prepared to teach about race, racism, and anti-racism, in most cases lacking the intention and academic knowledge to incorporate these topics into their culture courses. This study has implications for White nursing educators and administrators and offers recommendations to assist them in taking individual and systemic actions that may facilitate teaching and learning about race, racism, and anti-racism.
0631: Ethnic studies
0680: Health education
0745: Higher education