Hispanic Nurses’ Experiences of Bias in the Workplace

Joane T. Moceri, University of Portland

Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 2014, Volume 25, Issue 1, 15-22.

© The Authors

Linked version is the final published version.

Abstract

Purpose: The continuing issue of health inequity for Hispanics highlights the importance of retaining Hispanic nurses in the workplace. This article describes the use of short answers such as “Describe the bias you experienced” and “If a patient refused care, what was the reason given?” to increase understandings about bias through the descriptions of Hispanic nurses. In this study, bias was defined as those implicit negative stereotypes and attitudes that negatively affect judgments about, evaluations of, and actions toward others. Design/Method: For this qualitative component of a descriptive study employing both qualitative and quantitative methods, 111 Hispanic nurses responded to open-ended questions about experiences of bias that were included with a survey tool and demographic questionnaire. Findings: Three themes emerged: being overlooked and undervalued, having to prove competency, and living with “only-ness.” Respect was an overarching concept. Discussion/Conclusions: The written descriptions of bias provided depth and understanding to the quantitative findings. Nurse leaders are well positioned to develop and implement strategies to more effectively support Hispanic nurses and to promote nonbiased interactions in the workplace. Implications: Retaining Hispanic nurses is a vital component to address issues of health inequity for Hispanic patients.