"That Spirit, That Thing Inside": Using Qualitative Research Techniques to Produce a Recruitment Film for Hispanic/Latino and American Indian Students

By Evans, Bronwynne C. | Nursing Education Perspectives, September-October 2003 | Go to article overview

"That Spirit, That Thing Inside": Using Qualitative Research Techniques to Produce a Recruitment Film for Hispanic/Latino and American Indian Students


Evans, Bronwynne C., Nursing Education Perspectives


ABSTRACT This article reports on the use of qualitative research methodology in producing a 23-minute recruitment film to attract Hispanic/Latino and American Indian students into a baccalaureate nursing program. The research question addressed in this pilot project was, "What is the meaning of the educational experience to Hispanic/Latino and American Indian nurses in the Yakima Valley of south central Washington State?" The conceptual development of the project, recruitment of interview participants, generation of interview protocol, data collection, and analysis are described and correlated to accepted qualitative research elements. Themes and patterns identified in participant interviews, the "findings" of the project, were used during the postproduction phase as guides for the story that unfolds in the film, which addresses the experience of being a nurse of color.

AS PART OF A 2001 NURSING WORKFORCE DIVERSITY GRANT funded by the Division of Nursing, qualitative research methodology was used for producing a 23-minute recruitment film to attract American Indian and Hispanic/Latino students into a baccalaureate nursing program in the Yakima Valley of south central Washington State. The research question addressed in this pilot project was, "What is the meaning of the educational experience to Hispanic/Latino and American Indian nurses in the Yakima Valley?" * Attention to the meaning of statements provided by participants in the film enabled identification of common themes in their stories. In turn, in an attempt to accurately distill and capture all participants' concerns, common themes were examined for inclusion in overarching, organizing concepts called "patterns." Themes and patterns identified in participant interviews were used during the postproduction phase as guides for the story that unfolds in the film, which addresses the experience of being a nurse of color.

Background Sensitivity to a wide variety of issues around race and ethnicity is integral to all health care. Indeed, cultural incompetence of health care providers--the failure to recognize culturally specific healing systems and folk beliefs--contributes to health disparities among minority populations. Lack of cultural knowledge can cause individuals to be treated differently, or even denied treatment, because of their race or national origin (1). Quality of care and health outcomes are improved if patient and provider share a common language and customs (2-4).

The current need for increasing workforce diversity in nursing has been identified as a means of promoting quality of care by a variety of groups, including the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, the Pew Health Commission, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Washington State Board of Health (1,5-7). This need continues to exist despite a long history of legislation, starting in 1966 with the Allied Health Professions Act, which focused on disadvantaged individuals.

Although the representation of minority nurses in the United States increased from 7 percent in 1980 to 12 percent in 2000, as reported in the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses (8), it is still less than the overall minority population of 30 percent. The Hispanic/Latino nurse population grew by 35.3 percent during this same period, but these nurses remain among the most underrepresented of all groups. Presently, Hispanic/Latinos constitute 12.5 percent of the population in the United States, but only 2 percent of RNs are Hispanic/Latino (8). And, only 0.5 percent of all RNs are American Indian.

Contributing to the problems caused by these numerical disparities is the fact that among RNs, more American Indian/Alaskan Native and Hispanic/Latino nurses are prepared at the associate degree level (49.4 percent and 43.1 percent, respectively) than any other racial or ethnic group (8). Lacking a baccalaureate degree, these nurses are unable to advance to the master's or doctoral educational level, and their voices are not heard in advanced nursing practice.

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