Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Linda Herrick

Second Advisor

Lynnette Leeseberg Stamler


ethnically diverse immigrant nursing students, ethnically diverse immigrant registered nurses, ethnically diverse nursing students, insider, outsider, retention


The United States faces an immigrant population explosion with more foreignborn residents compared to any country in the world. Each immigrant enters with individual and cultural health beliefs and, as they seek health care, often prefers to receive care from someone who understands and supports their cultural beliefs and customs. Nurses comprise the largest segment of healthcare providers. Within this population of nurses, the number of ethnically diverse nurses continues to stagnate at astoundingly low levels. The literature reviewed neglected to identify interviewing immigrants separate from ethnically diverse nursing students. Understanding the immigrant’s nursing education experiences is essential to addressing future ethnically diverse immigrant nursing student success in entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs. Thus, this qualitative study provided insight into the learning experiences from the perspective of five entry-level baccalaureate prepared ethnically diverse immigrant registered nurses soon after graduation. Heidegger and Gadamer’s hermeneutic phenomenological approach were instituted through immersion in dialogue and interpretation of transcripts. The interpretations were guided by Dr. Isaacson and the Hermeneutic Circle. The overarching theme was “being on the outside.” Their stories demonstrated five subthemes that described their learning experiences and coping mechanisms as an outsider. In hermeneutics, the fluidity and movement among the subthemes assisted in identification of the overarching theme, “being on the outside.” The participants’ stories demonstrated resilience to being oppressed and provide an explanation for being successful in their nursing program through competent coping mechanisms and adaptation techniques. Open dialogue, coming to know yourself prior to understanding someone else, and uniting through collaboration were all suggested by Gadamer (1992) in achievement of solidarity. Roberts (1983) proposed that nursing as a profession is oppressed as defined by Freire (1970/2011). Walker (1997) offered an explanation of insider and outsider with a line that separates these two dichotomies where people cross the border or experience both entities. Canales (2000) described inclusionary and exclusionary othering as terms that coincide with power use and abuse. In concluding, solidarity versus solitary, oppressor versus oppressed, insider versus outsider, and inclusionary versus exclusionary othering are different means of describing what is occurring within nursing education and the profession as a whole.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Minorities in nursing

Nursing students -- Attitudes

Immigrant students -- Attitudes

Nurses -- Attitudes

Immigrants -- Attitudes

Transcultural nursing

Nursing -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Minnesota

Multiculturalism -- Psychological aspects


Includes bibliographical references (pages 198- 233)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2016 Marcia L. Scherer. All rights reserved.

Included in

Nursing Commons