Current participation by the children of immigrants in UK nursing education is very low. There are implications for culturally sensitive care delivery and the increasing demographic shift towards an ageing population. Those who arrived during the HMS Windrush period immediately after World War 2 are now beginning to use NHS services more frequently.
This paper will provide insights into Black British African Caribbean nurses’ perceptions of support as students and clinical practitioners. It draws on original research, which explored factors, that impact on participation of British African Caribbean people in careers in nursing. The paper is specifically concerned with support which was one of four key findings from the research.
UK policy requires that all services, including health services, should reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. This presents opportunities and challenges that need to be explored and addressed, as the UK grapples with increased nursing shortages and low retention rates of qualified staff.
The British National Health Service (NHS) has benefited from major contributions of African Caribbean communities who were specifically invited and recruited to help to rebuild the economy and the infrastructure. There is some evidence that Children of the post Windrush era, who were born here, may choose not to participate in nursing as a career because of the experiences of discrimination suffered by their parents and grandparents in the NHS. This paper explores the views of British African Caribbean nursing participants as students and workers, in their own voices. It specifically highlights the role of support in their experiences and its direct impact on their decision making and success with regards to career choices in nursing. It will consider the role that bespoke support can play in enabling successful participation, career building and the implications for nursing education.
Naomi A Watson