Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Rhonda Jeffries


Formal American nursing education has existed since the late 19th century, but its historically deep-seated white framing continues to influence how current nurses are educated, enculturated, and professionalized. Insufficient inclusivity and diversity deficit have endured despite decades-long demands to do otherwise. To most nursing educators, the white frame is invisible. This unseen framing allows ongoing harmful implicit biases and microaggressions towards underrepresented nursing students and colleagues to persist. Nursing students are taught to provide culturally humble, unbiased patient care. Should not nursing faculty likewise demonstrate the same unbiased attitudes and humility towards their students? Faculty risk perpetuating the white frame normative without acquiring the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to enhance inclusive excellence, redress biases, and confidently question oppressive exclusionary practices in nursing education. Transforming nursing educators' hidden assumptions using a critical lens of equity and justice is vital to creating inclusive learning experiences for underrepresented student nurses. Increasing nursing faculty awareness of biases, mitigating bias impact, and enhancing cultural humility in nursing education spaces supports inclusive excellence. This complex, two-phase, sequential explanatory mixed-methods action research study sought to determine nursing faculty: 1) implicit bias attitudes, 2) perceptions of cultural humility, and 3) the effect of critical self-reflection on assumptions related to study constructs. Qualitative data analysis derived six themes: unknown identity and impact, racial avoidance and disempowerment, wide lens viewpoint, and hopeful optimism. Additionally, this study posits three assertions: communication is a catalyst for increasing racial bias awareness, learning is transformative when utilizing critical reflection, and affirmation is fuel for cultivating cultural humility. The use of critical reflection by nursing faculty in this study demonstrated positive gains in bias self-awareness and enhancement of cultural humility descriptors. Using communication level setting and psychological safety was crucial to promoting faculty collaboration and dialectical discourse during team learning sessions on racial implicit bias, its negative impact on healthcare provision and education, and cultivating cultural humility. A three-phase action plan for progressing this study’s work utilizes socioecological leveling: Phase 1 begins at the micro-level with building nursing educator capacity (agency), Phase 2 expands out into the meso-level with organizational change (engagement), and Phase 3 describes macro-level activism and power of policy mandates (advocacy).


© 2024, Teresa Stafford Cronell