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Cheryl L. Woods-Giscombe, Pamela Johnson Rowsey, Shawn M. Kneipp, Clint W. Owens, Karen M. Sheffield, Kayoll V. Galbraith, Sama Hammad, Tamryn Fowler, Eric A. Hodges, Vicky Kowlowitz, G. Rumay Alexander
2015 May
Journal of Nursing Education 54(5): 261-269


BACKGROUND: A growing body of literature has focused on issues related to recruitment and retention to enhance diversity in nursing. This study was designed to identify barriers and supports encountered by underrepresented students when applying to nursing school. METHOD: Twenty-two underrepresented baccalaureate nursing students participated in two focus groups. Applied thematic analysis was used to organize the data and identify major themes. RESULTS: Students expressed the importance of having (a) navigators in the offices of admissions and student affairs to provide encouragement, support, and information during the application process; (b) tailored programming for underrepresented students; (c) financial aid guidance; (d) timely feedback about admissions decisions; (e) a clear and easily navigated Web site; and (f) negotiation and acculturation to know the right things to do and say during the application and admissions process. CONCLUSION: Findings provide direction for developing programming and collaborations to enhance the institutional climate for underrepresented nursing applicants. [J Nurs Educ. 2015;54(5):261-269.].