African Nova Scotian nurses’ perceptions and experiences of leadership: a qualitative study informed by Black feminist theory Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: People of African Nova Scotian (ANS) ancestry are a culturally distinct group who experience numerous socioeconomic inequities and health disparities, secondary to structural and social determinants of health. Understanding the experiences of ANS health practitioners is important in addressing anti-Black racism in health care. We sought to critically examine the leadership experiences of ANS nurses in health care practice. METHODS: We used Black feminist theory to guide this qualitative study. We conducted 1-on-1 semistructured telephone interviews with ANS nurses and analyzed interview transcripts using Critical Discourse Analysis. RESULTS: We interviewed 18 nurses of ANS ancestry. We conceptualized study findings in 3 overarching areas: People of ANS ancestry as a distinct people, institution of care, and leadership philosophy and practice. Each area, and its corresponding themes and subthemes, illustrated an emergent understanding of factors that influence leadership among ANS nurses, such as socialization, early exposure to care and diversity in health care. Participants perceived and practised leadership in a manner that transcended formal titles or designations. INTERPRETATION: African Nova Scotian ancestry is implicated in the perception and practice of leadership among ANS nurses, who considered leadership to be a fundamental component of nursing practice that was grounded in community-oriented care. This study provides new insights that could inform recruitment, retention and representation of ANS people in nursing and other health professions.


  • Jefferies, Keisha
  • Martin-Misener, Ruth
  • Murphy, Gail Tomblin
  • Gahagan, Jacqueline
  • Bernard, Wanda Thomas

publication date

  • October 31, 2022