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Deborah Lewis


Newly licensed registered nurses face many challenges as they transition from school to the nursing workforce. The challenges may lead to their desire to leave the workforce which negatively affects nursing retention and contributes to the nursing shortage. African American registered nurses are underrepresented when compared to the percentage of the African American population in the Unites States. Retaining African American nurses can make a significant contribution to the increasing diversity of the nursing workforce. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the perceptions of African American registered nurses as they transition to the nursing workforce using Bandura’s social cognitive theory as a theoretical framework. Semi-structured interviews were completed with 10 African American registered nurses that met the selection criteria. Data were collected until data saturation was achieved. Data were analyzed using Moustakas modification of the Van Kaam methods of phenomenological data analysis. Key findings from this study included 5 prominent themes. African American nurses felt disrespected, experienced inappropriate staffing practices, noted a lack of teamwork and support, and encountered conditions which led to feelings of stress in the working environment. Recommendations for further research include examining the experiences of African American nurses on a regional or national level. Results from this study can be used to promote positive social change by serving to guide nurse educators, administrators, and healthcare organizations to develop programs that promote the effective transition of newly graduated African American registered nurses to ensure a culturally diverse workforce.

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