Developing a study-centered mentoring program based on the perception of needs of the African-American nursing student

Barbara Williams Buchanan, Tennessee State University


The purpose of this study was to ascertain the African-American nursing student's perception of an ideal mentor to facilitate a study centered mentoring program. A secondary purpose was to determine the necessity of cultural inclusiveness in such a program. The percentage of ethnic minorities graduating from baccalaureate nursing programs has continued to decline since 1990 (National League of Nursing, 1995). The March, 1996 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses estimated there were 2,559,000 registered nurses in the United States. Only 107,500 of these nurses were African-American. Data from the 1996 U.S. Census reveal African-Americans to be the largest ethnic minority group in the country (14 percent). Based upon the number of racially and culturally diverse clients seeing health care, there is a gross under-representation of racially and culturally diverse nurses available to administer the care. Greer (1995) believes that mentoring and educational support can reduce attrition rates of African-American nursing students. Henriksen (1995), reports cultural differences tend to result in academic failure for the ethnic minority student. This study examined the perceptions of African-American nursing students from two public Universities in the Southeast United States. The questionnaires were distributed to 99 respondents, with a response rate of 54 percent. Seventeen percent of the respondents had failed one of the nursing programs between August, 1994 and December, 1997. Analysis of selected demographic data, the Mentor Relationship Inventory and the Cultural Inclusion Questionnaire was completed using descriptive statistics, content analysis and Pearson's Product moment correlation. The findings indicated 60 percent of the sample population was undecided about the item descriptions of a mentor from the inventory. However, when asked about qualities of persons who had a positive influence on their academic progress, the students listed twelve of the twenty descriptors included in the mentor relationship inventory. Pearson's (r) suggested a high positive correlation between GPA and cultural inclusion. Results of the descriptive frequencies on the cultural inclusion question indicated the sample population did feel there was a need for cultural inclusion in a mentoring program for African-American student nurses. The results of this study did not support the researcher's descriptions of an ideal mentor.

Subject Area

Nursing|Black studies|Cultural anthropology|Health education|Higher education|African American Studies

Recommended Citation

Barbara Williams Buchanan, "Developing a study-centered mentoring program based on the perception of needs of the African-American nursing student" (1998). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9907838.