“..Here to stay… so…..deal with it”: Experiences and Perceptions of Black British African Caribbean People about Nursing Careers.




Journal Title

Journal ISSN



Volume Title


De Montfort University


Thesis or dissertation

Peer reviewed


There is a noticeable absence of studies reflecting the personal views and experiences of black British African Caribbean (BBAC) people as students and clinical participants in UK nursing careers. Previous research about their nursing career choices has always been

reported as part of other mixed BME cohorts and migrant groups. Indications in the literature suggest that they were being actively discouraged by their families from choosing nursing as a career, because of their parents’ and grandparents’ negative experiences as migrant workers in the NHS, leading to very low or non-participation in the profession.

This study set out to address this gap by giving them a distinct voice, independent of other cohorts. It explored the factors which influence their decision and their experiences, throughout a variety of life stages, from school through to university and into clinical practice. This was to identify whether the findings from earlier research are still relevant from their perspectives rather than that of their parents. Participants and schools in the study were recruited by purposive sampling,

and data was collected in three phases, a pilot study phase, a survey phase and an interview phase. A quantitative and qualitative interpretive approach were adopted underpinned by a mixed methods design. Descriptive statistical analysis of the survey and qualitative content analysis (QCA) of the interview transcripts were utilised to enable interrogation of the data. Findings are discussed within the context of available empirical evidence, related policy perspectives and theoretical underpinnings.

Four main themes emerged from the study, as specific influencing factors on their experiences. These are: careers advice and choice for nursing, support, discrimination/racism and personal resilience.

The findings reveal that BBAC people receive little or no careers advice about nursing at any of their life stages. Consequently, they make uninformed decisions about modern nursing careers, leaving a gap in their knowledge. However, they are not discouraged from choosing nursing as a career, by their families. When they choose a nursing career, they are fully supported and encouraged by their parents and families, in order to survive as students and clinical practitioners. However, institutional support as students and practitioners is weak and very poor. Despite this, they do not intend to actively discourage their own children from making nursing a career choice. Racism, discrimination and racialisation remain core factors influencing

their social, educational and other lived experiences, despite numerous equality legislation and implementation. These have a continuous negative impact on them as visible minority students and practitioners in the NHS. They respond to these negative experiences by developing personal resilience aided by strong social and cultural support provided by their families and community.

These findings make a unique contribution to the knowledge base by giving BBAC participants their own distinct voice. This was achieved through listening to them at varied points in their life stages, from school through to university and as eventual professionals in nursing. This is important new knowledge, which has ensured a clear recognition of their personal perspectives, in their own voices. These insightful new observations are necessary to build a specific knowledge base about them and are very positive for future participation of BBAC people in nursing careers and the NHS. An adapted model for inclusive participation is proposed, based on the findings of the research.



Black British, African Caribbean, Nursing Careers, Participation, Recruitment, Attrition, Race, Racism, Ethnicity, Institutional Racialisation, Intersectionality, resilience, Higher Education, Bespoke educational Support, National Health Service, Diversity, Nursing Education, Health Care



Research Institute