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This article is the author’s final published version in Global Qualitative Nursing Research, Volume 9, January 2022, Pages 1-13.

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Copyright © Iheduru-Anderson et al.

Publication made possible in part by support from the Jefferson Open Access Fund


Severe under-representation of Black women academic nurse leaders persists in United States higher education, and a major research gap still exists regarding experiences of these leaders, and facilitators of and barriers to their success. Our objective was to examine how race and gender influence how Black women academic nurse leaders’ function in their leadership positions, how they are perceived by their peers, and how their perception of race, gender, class, and power influences diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in the workplace. Critical race theory was used as a guiding theory, and the study design involved narrative inquiry followed by thematic analysis. Four overarching themes with four sub-themes were revealed: (a) Paying a personal price for authenticity, (b) Being the only one is hard even when you are in charge, (c) The illusion of diversity and inclusion while trying to survive, and (d) Focusing on building and sustaining diversity, equity, and inclusion. Implications for nursing education including instituting training for faculty in anti-racist pedagogy and requiring nursing programs to meet inclusivity metrics for approval and accreditation.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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