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Exploring the role of support in the lived experiences of Black British African Caribbean nurses as students and staff in the British NHS

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  • Education

Abstract

This paper aims to provide insights into Black British African Caribbean nurses’ perceptions of support while studying and working in the British NHS. It will draw on current ongoing original research, which explores factors, which influences the participation of UK born African Caribbean children and young people in careers in nursing. Current participation by the children of immigrants in nursing education is very low. This has implications for culturally sensitive care delivery services for senior black users of NHS services, whose numbers are increasing as those who arrived via HMS Windrush immediately after World War 2, now begin to retire. The requirement by UK policymakers that all services, especially health services, should reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, is also an issue, with challenges needing to be explained and explored, as the UK grapples with nursing shortages and low retention rates of qualified staff. The British National Health service (NHS) has benefited from major contributions of African and Caribbean communities who were specifically invited and recruited to help to rebuild the economy and the infrastructure. The arrival of HMS Windrush in 1946 saw the beginning of large numbers of immigrants arriving by invitation, but without any arrangements made for their housing, social and emotional needs. Consequently the new migrants became the subjects of marginalisation and discrimination, which had major impact on their personal and family lives with resultant effects on their health and the health and education of their children. 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 will explore the views of UK born African Caribbean nursing participants as students and workers in the NHS. It will highlight the role of support in their experiences and its impact on their decision making with regards to a career in nursing.

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