Theses Doctoral

Color Me Capable: The Rise of African-American Nurse Faculty at Lincoln School for Nurses, 1898 to 1961

Graham-Perel, Ashley

The recruitment of diverse nurse faculty fosters culturally competent teaching, role modeling of cultural awareness, and mentorship for diverse nursing students. However, with regard to the evolution of New York City’s diversity, the nursing profession has historically failed to parallel the societal transformation. This researcher investigated nursing education’s past in regard to race and ethnicity through the historical case study of one of New York City’s first schools established to educate Black women in nursing arts, namely, the Lincoln School for Nurses of the Bronx, New York. The lack of diversity within nursing is not an issue that developed overnight. Deficiencies of diverse nurse educators have been associated with decreased numbers of enrolled minority students, insufficient percentages of minority nursing staff, and the negative stimuli on healthcare that stemmed from unconscious biases and healthcare disparities.

This researcher employed the historical research method and accessed archival materials (both primary and secondary sources) to study the Lincoln School for Nurses. The findings of this study identified the progressive development of African-American nursing students in New York and the pivotal role African American nursing faculty have played in the education of Black nurses. Along with the historical study of the Lincoln School for Nurses, biographical sketches of prominent graduates and leaders (such as Adah B. Samuels Thoms and Ivy Nathan Tinkler) were presented. Furthermore, previous studies of Lincoln School for Nurses’ institution and educational standards, such as the Ethel Johns Report of 1925 and the 1930 study of the school by Isabel M. Stewart and Teachers College, Columbia University, were investigated. The presence of structural racism and discrimination influenced the growth and development of Black nursing faculty in history and, arguably, set the foundation for Blacks in nursing education of present-day. It is vital that researchers examine the origins of this dilemma and provide clarity to the events and experiences that influenced the nursing profession’s current state of diversity, prior to attempting to resolve an issue that took decades to cultivate.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Organization and Leadership
Thesis Advisors
Lewenson, Sandra
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 2, 2021