Lived Experiences of Internationally Educated Nurses Holding Management Positions in USA: A Descriptive Phenomenological Study

Lived Experiences of Internationally Educated Nurses Holding Management Positions in USA: A Descriptive Phenomenological Study

Author: 
Lilian A. Allen
Program of study: 
Ph.D./NUR
Abstract: 
Understanding the lived experiences of internationally educated nurses (IENs) holding management positions is important because of the changing dynamics of the nursing profession and the increasing ethnic diversity in the United States population. Leaders in health care need insight into the experiences of IENs in order to develop policies and practices that support effective recruitment, retention, and advancement of IENs. The purpose of this descriptive phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of IENs holding management positions in U.S. health care organizations. Purnell’s model of cultural competence was the theoretical framework used to guide the study. Data were collected through semistructured, face-to-face interviews with seven IENs holding management positions. The data were analyzed using Colaizzi’s seven-step phenomenological process. The analysis process resulted in six themes: (a) the role of leaders in IENs’ acceptance of management positions, (b) challenges regarding job responsibilities, (c) cultural differences, (d) language and communication, (d) work relationships and support, and (e) educational opportunities. The findings from this study indicate that obtaining and serving in a management or leadership role are challenging tasks for IENs but are also rewarding. Further, opportunities are available for IENs to obtain management and leadership positions. The results of the study may assist health care leaders to establish policies that promote inclusiveness and help IENs advance in their careers. This study may also bring awareness to the responsibilities associated with being a nurse manager or leader.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to God for the precious gift of life. To my beloved husband—without his encouragement and support, this dissertation would not have been possible. To my children for believing in me and forgiving me for all the activities that I missed; now I will make them up. To my parents, who taught me that whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well. Yes, I did it and I did it very well. Thank you for laying a solid foundation for my siblings and me. My sisters, brothers, and their families, I love you all. Thank you for all your support. The journey does not end here; the lifelong journey continues.
Acknowledgements: 
I would like to thank Dr. Charlene Romer for accepting to chair my dissertation. Her prompt responses, encouragement, and advice were unparalleled. Thank you for your dynamic role and for your help in navigating my doctoral journey. I am extremely blessed to have worked with Dr. Dorothy Hawthorne-Burdine, who opened my eyes to what writing a dissertation is all about, and with Dr. Susan Orshan for her constructive criticism, which strengthened my understanding of the dissertation process. I thank my sister Rev. Sr. Dr. Maria Sochima Mgbokwere, whose moral support and academic advice were unprecedented as I struggled through the many obstacles of completing my dissertation. I also thank the seven participants in this study, who despite their tight schedules found time to participate in this study and shared their experiences of holding management positions in U.S. health care organizations. Thank you for allowing me to listen to your stories.