A Naturalistic Inquiry of Nigerian Immigrant Nursing Students’ Experiences in United States (U.S.) Baccalaureate Nursing Programs



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Nigerian immigrant nursing students have been identified in the literature as having difficulty in making a transition to the teaching methods used in nursing programs in the U.S. Among the problems they experience are understanding the vocabulary and terminology of the Western culture. Previous research suggests Nigerian students remain silent in seeking help regarding the challenges of their learning in part due to the isolation they face from peers and faculty (Sanner, Wilson and Samson, 2002). There is a paucity of research associated with Nigerian immigrant nursing students and how they acclimate to U.S. nursing programs. This study utilized Naturalistic Inquiry (Erlandson et al., 1993; Lincoln & Guba, 1985) to explore the perceptions and experiences of ten Nigerian immigrant nursing students. Study participants were Nigerian immigrant nursing students and the researcher recruited students enrolled in baccalaureate nursing programs in Texas. Interviews, face-to-face or by telephone, for the ten participants were conducted in a private, agreed upon place. Data were collected until reaching saturation, indicating data redundancy, and with no new themes evolving. Analyzed data used procedures described by Lincoln and Guba (1985) and Erlandson et al. (1993) to seek emerging patterns. Guided by Lincoln and Guba (1985) procedures, the five emergent themes included Stepping into America, Navigating the Rough Waters, Unexpected Changes, Searching for Consistency, and Hopes of Finding Clarity. Lincoln and Guba’s (1985) criteria were used to evaluate trustworthiness of the data. Study findings revealed that Nigerian immigrant nursing students experience positive and negative encounters with faculty and classmates, challenges and obstacles related to the American English language, their Nigerian accent, family expectations, and work obligations. The study findings may aid U.S. nursing schools and faculty to incorporate strategies in the learning environment to assist Nigerian immigrants and other international nursing students, to better acclimate to Western programs to achieve success.



Health Sciences, Nursing, Education, Higher