A Phenomenological Inquiry on Barriers Experienced by African American Nurses Denied Leadership Positions

A Phenomenological Inquiry on Barriers Experienced by African American Nurses Denied Leadership Positions

Author: 
Yvonne Paraway
Program of study: 
Ph.D./NUR
Abstract: 
As the United States’ (US) population becomes increasingly diverse in its racial and ethnic makeup, the profession of nursing aims to ensure an administrative workforce reflective of the nation’s culturally diverse demographics. Few nurses, however, of the African-American racial-ethnic group hold administrative positions in tertiary health care settings to reflect the nation’s increasingly diverse makeup. A descriptive phenomenological design was conducted to understand and describe the African-American registered nurses’ lived experience of the barriers encountered in seeking promotion into leadership positions. The central research question addressed in the study was: How do African-American registered nurses seeking promotion into leadership positions describe their experiences? Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a non-probability, purposive sample of baccalaureate-prepared African-American RNs (N = 10) who had a minimum of 10 years of nursing practice experience, were previously denied promotion into a nursing leadership position, and who were currently employed in a non-leadership position in an urban tertiary health care setting within the state of Maryland. Interview data were analyzed using Colaizzi’s 7-step reductive phenomenological process. Tenets informed by Edmund Husserl’s philosophical views on phenomenology were used to describe themes identified from participants’ experiences. The collected data were stored and managed using NVivo 11 qualitative software. Findings from the study may be used by health care administrators and nurse leaders in identifying and addressing employment barriers African-American RNs encounter when seeking promotion into leadership positions.
Dedication: 
I dedicate my dissertation to family members who helped me grow into the woman that I am today. First, I dedicate my dissertation to my parents, Harvey and Goldie Griffin, who continuously stressed the importance of education to me and believed in me first and always. One of my greatest honors was to be their daughter. Next, I dedicate this dissertation to my brothers, Timothy and Anthony Griffin. My brothers were two of the best brothers a person could have. My brothers were so giving and supportive of me. They taught me to never give up on my dreams. Finally, I dedicate this dissertation to my grandmothers. Ida Marie Myers, my maternal grandmother, believed in me and told me that I could do anything I set my mind to do. Flora Hart, my paternal grandmother, taught me the power of prayer. She was “my praying grandmother.” Although none of these family members walk this earth any longer, they played an important role in my life and I continue to use their prudent lessons to guide me. My family’s priceless love and support are a daily blessing. I thank my family members for their unconditional love.
Acknowledgements: 
First and foremost, I give all praise and honor to God. Completion of this dissertation would not have been possible without the support of many persons. I want to express my appreciation and gratitude towards my family. My husband, Ralph, has always been supportive of whatever goal I chose to pursue. He is my friend and partner, and I love him sincerely. My wonderful children, Renard and Kiara, and my sweet daughter-in-law, Jessica, have served as my inspiration to pursue my goals. I would like to thank my grandchildren: Zachary, Timothy, Jordan, Jeremiah, Jackson, Adriana, and Juliana for understanding when I had to write when they wanted to visit with me. I hope my many days of writing will be an inspiration to each of them to work hard and pursue their own goals in the future. I would like to thank my siblings and their spouses, Theresa (Zannie), Michael (Loretta), and Pat (Frederick) for rallying behind me during this journey. I would like to thank my extended family, friends, and church family for their support and encouragement as I progressed through my doctoral journey. I would like to thank my University of Phoenix colleagues: Anita, Jessica, Mattie, and Teresa, for their willingness to listen and provide words of encouragement anytime I needed. I would like to express sincere appreciation to my dissertation committee members. My dissertation chair, Dr. Dorothy Hawthorne-Burdine, has been a tremendous support and was always willing to impart her knowledge and expertise to me. I would like to thank my committee members, Dr. Samson Omotosho, Dr. Marilyn Miller, and Dr. Shana Nicholson. Each member provided me with the knowledge, support, and guidance necessary to not only complete my dissertation but move forward in my career as a doctoral-prepared registered nurse. Last but not least, I would like to sincerely thank the Kennedy Krieger Institute for providing the financial means for me to complete my doctoral studies.