Aboriginal nursing students’ experiences in a nursing program

Date

2008-10-01T22:52:21Z

Authors

Petrak, Heidi

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Abstract

This ethnographic study explored the experiences of six Aboriginal nursing students in a nursing program with the hope of gaining understanding of such experiences. Four important themes emerged from the analysis of the interviews with the Aboriginal nursing students: (a) teaching about residential schools (the impact of colonization), (b) the push and pull of family and culture, (c) tensions with the nursing program, and (d) pressures to succeed. These themes revealed both the courage and tenacity of Aboriginal students to succeed against their fears of failure, rejection from their community, and rejection from the medical community. Nursing curricula need to be prepared to incorporate the concept of cultural safety and determine whether the dominant Euro-Canadian female nursing program requires that students give up their Aboriginal identity and assimilate, which can perpetuate colonialism.

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Keywords

nursing students, aboriginal, Nursing curricula

Citation