Retention of faculty of color in academic nursing

Published:December 07, 2016DOI:


      • Faculty of color (FOC) in nursing have poor retention rates.
      • Few studies have explored the experience of FOC in academic nursing.
      • Administrative leadership is crucial to change current FOC retention concerns.
      • FOC retention relies on mentoring, organizational climate, and workplace parity.



      Racial and ethnic diversity among nursing faculty is low, preventing schools of nursing (SON) from reflecting the populations that they serve academically and clinically. Few studies address the experience and success of faculty of color (FOC) in nursing.


      The purpose of this article is to summarize the current literature related to FOC retention and promotion.


      We reviewed 25 articles from the nursing literature following PRISMA guidelines, using a critical race theory framework.


      We describe barriers and promoters to retention, benefits of retaining FOC, and proposed solutions to FOC attrition. We also highlight polices by several SON that netted increased retention and promotion of nursing FOC.


      FOC meet substantial challenges that influence their career pathway. SON can improve faculty retention through focused efforts on improving the institutional culture to promote an inclusive environment.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment


      Subscribe to Nursing Outlook
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Ackerman-Barger P.W.
        Embracing multiculturalism in nursing learning environments.
        Journal of Nursing Education. 2010; 49: 677-682
        • American Association of Colleges of Nursing
        Special survey on vacant faculty positions for academic year 2016-2017.
        2016 (Retrieved from)
        • American Association of Colleges of Nursing
        Enhancing diversity in the workforce.
        2014 (Retrieved from)
        • Beard K.
        • Volcy K.
        Increasing minority representation in nursing.
        American Journal of Nursing. 2013; 113: 11
        • Berent G.R.
        • Anderko L.
        Solving the nurse faculty shortage: Exploring retention issues.
        Nurse Educator. 2011; 36: 203-207
        • Chung C.E.
        • Kowalski S.
        Job stress, mentoring, psychological empowerment, and job satisfaction among nursing faculty.
        Journal of Nursing Education. 2012; 51: 381-388
        • Davis S.P.
        • Davis M.
        Challenges and issues facing the future of nursing education: Implications for ethnic minority faculty and students.
        Journal of Cultural Diversity. 1998; 5: 68-76
        • Davis S.P.
        • Davis D.D.
        Challenges and issues facing the future of nursing education: implications for ethnic minority faculty and students.
        Journal of Cultural Diversity. 2010; 17: 122-126
        • Deas D.
        • Pisano E.D.
        • Mainous A.G.
        • Johnson N.G.
        • Singleton M.H.
        • Gordon L.
        • Reves J.G.
        Improving diversity through strategic planning: A 10-year (2002-2012) experience at the Medical University of South Carolina.
        Academic Medicine. 2012; 87: 1548-1555
        • Edwards K.
        Building the case for cultural competency in healthcare practice and higher education.
        Journal of Cultural Diversity. 2009; 16: 139
        • ERIC Digest
        ED446723 2000-00-00 Women and minority faculty in the academic workplace: Recruitment, retention, and academic culture. ERIC Digest.
        2014 (Retrieved from)
        • Fang D.
        • Moy E.
        • Colburn L.
        • Hurley J.
        Racial and ethnic disparities in faculty promotion in academic medicine.
        Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). 2000; 284: 1085-1092
        • Ford C.L.
        • Airhihenbuwa C.O.
        Critical race theory, race equity, and public health: Toward antiracism praxis.
        American Journal of Public Health. 2010; 100: S30-S35
        • Godfrey C.
        African American nursing faculty: Where are they?.
        The ABNF Journal. 2005; 16: 11-13
        • Hassouneh D.
        Unconscious racist bias: Barriers to a diverse nursing faculty.
        Journal of Nursing Education. 2013; 52: 183-184
        • Hassouneh D.
        • Akeroyd J.
        • Lutz K.F.
        • Beckett A.K.
        Exclusion and control: Patterns aimed at limiting influence of faculty of color.
        Journal of Nursing Education. 2012; 51: 314-325
        • Hassouneh D.
        • Lutz K.F.
        Having influence: Faculty of color having influence in schools of nursing.
        Nursing Outlook. 2013; 61: 153
        • Jacob S.R.
        • Sanchez Z.W.
        The challenges of closing the diversity gap: Development of Hispanic nursing faculty through a Health Resources and Services Administration Minority Faculty Fellowship Program grant.
        Journal of Professional Nursing. 2011; 27: 108-113
        • Jayakumar U.A.
        • Howard T.C.
        • Allen W.R.
        • Han J.C.
        Racial privilege in the professoriate: An exploration of campus climate, retention, and satisfaction.
        Journal of Higher Education. 2009; 80: 538-563
        • Jones C.P.
        Confronting institutionalized racism.
        Phylon. 2002; 50: 7-22
        • Kinman G.
        • Jones F.
        A life beyond work? Job demands, work-life balance, and wellbeing in UK academics.
        Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment. 2008; 17: 41-60
        • Ladson-Billings G.
        Just what is critical race theory and what's it doing in a nice field like education?.
        International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. 1998; 11: 7-24
        • Manson S.M.
        • Goins R.T.
        • Buchwald D.S.
        The Native Investigator Development Program: Increasing the presence of American Indian and Alaska Native scientists in aging-related research.
        The Journal of Applied Gerontology. 2006; 25: 105S-130S
        • McKnight K.
        Pursuit of a dream.
        Minority Nurse Newsletter. 1999; 6: 1-2
        • McNeal G.J.
        Organizational culture and African American nurse faculty productivity: A comparative study.
        Journal of Cultural Diversity. 2000; 7: 114-127
        • Mkandawire-Valhmu L.
        • Kako P.M.
        • Stevens P.E.
        Mentoring women faculty of color in nursing academia: Creating an environment that supports scholarly growth and retention.
        Nursing Outlook. 2010; 58: 135-141
        • Nunez-Smith M.
        • Ciarleglio M.M.
        • Sandoval-Schaefer T.
        • Elumn J.
        • Castillo-Page L.
        • Peduzzi P.
        • Bradley E.
        Institutional variation in the promotion of racial/ethnic minority faculty at US medical schools.
        American Journal of Public Health. 2012; 102: 852-858
        • Pacquiao D.
        The relationship between cultural competence education and increasing diversity in nursing schools and practice settings.
        Journal of Transcultural Nursing. 2007; 18: 28S-37S
        • Palepu A.
        • Carr P.L.
        • Friedman R.H.
        • Ash A.S.
        • Moskowitz M.A.
        Specialty choices, compensation, and career satisfaction or underrepresented minority faculty in academic medicine.
        Academic Medicine. 2000; 75: 157-160
        • Penny T.
        U.S. white population will be minority by 2042, government says.
        2008 ( Retrieved from)
        • Phillips J.
        • Grady P.
        Reducing health disparities in the twenty-first century: Opportunities for nursing research.
        Nursing Outlook. 2002; 50: 117-120
        • Phillips J.M.
        • Malone B.
        Increasing racial/ethnic diversity in nursing to reduce health disparities and achieve health equity.
        Public Health Reports. 2014; 129: 40-50
        • Rosenberg L.
        • O'Rourke M.
        The diversity pyramid: An organizational model to structure diversity recruitment and retention in nursing programs.
        Journal of Nursing Education. 2011; 50: 555-560
        • Rosser V.J.
        Faculty members' intentions to leave: A national study on their worklife and satisfaction.
        Research in Higher Education. 2004; 45: 285-309
      1. Salary wizard (2016). Retrieved from

        • Salvucci C.
        • Lawless C.A.
        Nursing faculty diversity: Barriers and perceptions on recruitment, hiring, and retention.
        Journal of Cultural Diversity. 2016; 23: 65-75
        • Schroeder C.
        • DiAngelo R.
        Addressing whiteness in nursing education: The Sociopolitical Project at the University of Washington School of Nursing.
        Advances in Nursing Science. 2010; 33: 244-255
        • Smith B.A.
        Diversity of thought in the nursing professoriate.
        Nursing Outlook. 2016; 64: 203-204
        • Stanley J.M.
        • Capers C.F.
        • Berlin L.E.
        Changing the face of nursing faculty: Minority faculty recruitment and retention.
        Journal of Professional Nursing. 2007; 23: 253-261
        • Sue D.W.
        • Capodilupo C.M.
        • Torino G.C.
        • Bucceri J.M.
        • Holder A.M.B.
        • Nadal K.L.
        • Esquilin M.
        Racial microaggressions in everyday life: Implications for clinical practice.
        American Psychologist. 2007; 62: 271-286
        • Sullivan L.W.
        Missing persons: Minorities in the health professions, a report to the Sullivan commission on diversity in the healthcare workforce.
        2004 (Retrieved from)
        • Thrasher A.D.
        • Clay O.J.
        • Ford C.L.
        • Stewart A.L.
        Theory-guided selection of discrimination measures for racial/ethnic health disparities research among older adults.
        Journal of Aging and Health. 2012; 24: 1018-1043
        • United States Census
        Percent minority: 1970-2042.
        2008 (Retrieved from)
        • Vereen L.G.
        • Hill N.R.
        African American faculty and student-oriented challenges: Transforming the student culture in higher education from multiple perspectives.
        Journal of Thought. 2008; 43: 83-100
        • Zajac L.
        Double-loop approach: Recruitment and retention of minority nursing faculty.
        The ABNF Journal. 2011; 22: 73-77