Date of Conferral
Changes in the cultural composition of the United States population are not reflected in the nursing workforce. The lack of diversity in nursing may be due to the unique interpersonal needs of minority nursing students remaining unmet in traditional nursing education programs, which might unintentionally lead to alienation, isolation, and lower graduation rates for minority students. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore interpersonal interaction experiences nursing educators have in teaching minority nursing students. Critical social theory provided the theoretical framework to explore the ways social inquiries may hinder learning and keep marginal groups from reaching their full potential. Ten nurse educators from three community colleges were interviewed using open ended questions. Data analysis was conducted using Van Manen's three step approach and NVivo 11 for thematic analysis. Five themes emerged from the data: Perceptions of the need for minority nurses, social responsibility of nurse educators, perceptions of minority students, the effectiveness of teaching minority students, and perceptions of interpersonal interaction. Participants believed there is a need for increased diversity and that minority nursing students face specific challenges, so most of the nurse educators employ techniques that they think may help minority students. Future research should include a more diverse sample of nurse educators including educators from different geographic locations across the US. The study contributes to positive social change by identifying caring and supportive interpersonal interactions and behaviors practiced by nurse educators.