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Do Black Nurses Have a Different Experience?

Updated | Published

Specializes in Oncology, Home Health, Patient Safety. Has 20 years experience.

In honor of George Floyd and countless other black Americans who have been murdered by the police, Safety Nurse (SN) is seeking out interviews with black nurses. I recently interviewed a nursing professor who works in the southwestern part of the US. Details have been changed to protect her identity. You are reading page 2 of Do Black Nurses Have a Different Experience?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

simba and mufasa

Has 17 years experience.

Thank you for such an excellent article. I am a black nurse with a PhD and other accolades. I feel like this article was written about me except a few differences. My nursing orientation in a particular ICU was difficult, nurses were treated and given assignments according to color. As I advanced in my education, I have found myself the only black person in many conferences but I held my head up high and told myself, I am a small window to the black community and I shall rise. As an adjunct and lecturer in a predominantly white school, they labelled me as an angry black woman as I had high standards for my students. When I taught at an international school, my integrity was not questioned, I had the same standards and expected every student to do their job instead of trying to buy expensive gifts or try to befriend me. When you work in an environment that is diverse, you have more support and it is easier and less stressful. When I worked in a white college, it was hard to be me. So it depends, but at first I was crushed. I finally read an article by a black female professor who has been through this as well, having articles or suggestions disregarded, so yes, it is a long struggle but I am a window to to such racism and it is my duty to show and prove that we are created equal and have the same intelligence as my white counterparts and am not afraid anymore, but this is real depending on where one works.

Tx

Feeling proud in Summer!

Dr Madenya in the house!

I posted this on another forum that I frequent 2 years ago.

So today I was reminded that I am not an equal

Rumors have been swirling at work that the new guy (he's white) I am training was being paid more than many of us are being paid. I've been brushing those rumors off. He's a new grad. I was thinking no way.
Sure enough, I went HR, just for the hell of it. They wouldn't confirm, but they didn't deny it- But they said, " you need to talk to your manager about your own pay rate". - which pretty much confirmed the rumors for me. Anyhoo, HR guy contacts my manager - who then calls me with some BS excuse saying " oh looks like we made a mistake when we did our numbers in Jan and you got left off, I don't know how that happened, I'll make sure that gets fixed". So now they will give me a raise. - But it felt like a kick in the gut. How insulting to think it was OK for me to train someone who was getting paid more than I was? I am his superior - how can he make more than I do?

This has ticked off a bunch of other nurses on the unit that are now thinking about leaving after finding out how much this guy is making fresh out of school with no experience. I guess thats white privilege at its finest. Walk out of nursing school and make the same pay rate as nurses with several years of experience.

7 hours ago, NurseBlaq said:

Do you realize you've just dismissed what @waufah said in multiple posts? She basically said the same thing you said but it wasn't racism when she said it, despite the fact she EXPERIENCED it first hand. Why?

Are you talking to me or to DesiDani?

1 hour ago, Daisy Joyce said:

Are you talking to me or to DesiDani?

DesiDani. That's why I quoted her. But I see where I did quote you. It was on accident.

Sour Lemon

Has 11 years experience.

On 6/30/2020 at 6:02 PM, mangopeach said:

How insulting to think it was OK for me to train someone who was getting paid more than I was? I am his superior - how can he make more than I do?

That is extremely common, especially for nurses who stay in a single position over a great length of time.

You've got to switch jobs with some regularity, or be an aggressive negotiator, to keep up with what's being offered to newer graduates.

On 6/30/2020 at 12:11 PM, NurseBlaq said:

You first said this.

Then you remixed it to this. And that's simply not true. Nurses don't only interact with patients to pass meds and if they do then that's a trash nurse.

Then you end with this.

Do you realize you've just dismissed what @waufah said in multiple posts? She basically said the same thing you said but it wasn't racism when she said it, despite the fact she EXPERIENCED it first hand. Why?

Perhaps. It isn't just old white people who are surprised to see a black nurse or even doctor. Some black people are also surprised, although pleasantly surprised to see a black nurse and/or doctor. Their eyes light up when they encounter someone with a professional career who is just like them. That it is very good thing, but also a sad thing as well.

As for crap nurses. Some nurses have great work ethics. Yet, I am not going to gloss over when I notice when some nurses and aides have horrible work ethics. It is beyond my scope to call out any nurse or aide, but I see.

waufah, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU,Tele,Interventional Radiology,PACU,Research. Has 14 years experience.

On 6/30/2020 at 6:02 PM, mangopeach said:

I posted this on another forum that I frequent 2 years ago.

So today I was reminded that I am not an equal

Rumors have been swirling at work that the new guy (he's white) I am training was being paid more than many of us are being paid. I've been brushing those rumors off. He's a new grad. I was thinking no way.
Sure enough, I went HR, just for the hell of it. They wouldn't confirm, but they didn't deny it- But they said, " you need to talk to your manager about your own pay rate". - which pretty much confirmed the rumors for me. Anyhoo, HR guy contacts my manager - who then calls me with some BS excuse saying " oh looks like we made a mistake when we did our numbers in Jan and you got left off, I don't know how that happened, I'll make sure that gets fixed". So now they will give me a raise. - But it felt like a kick in the gut. How insulting to think it was OK for me to train someone who was getting paid more than I was? I am his superior - how can he make more than I do?

This has ticked off a bunch of other nurses on the unit that are now thinking about leaving after finding out how much this guy is making fresh out of school with no experience. I guess thats white privilege at its finest. Walk out of nursing school and make the same pay rate as nurses with several years of experience.

FYI

You can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Commission. For my story,I did and they did rule in my favor. For my settlement my employer had to pay me the difference in wages for the 5 years I was underpaid and my hourly rate was increase to match those of my colleagues at the same level. It was a nice check which I took and left. The environment was too toxic for me.

4 hours ago, DesiDani said:

Perhaps. It isn't just old white people who are surprised to see a black nurse or even doctor. Some black people are also surprised, although pleasantly surprised to see a black nurse and/or doctor. Their eyes light up when they encounter someone with a professional career who is just like them. That it is very good thing, but also a sad thing as well.

I can agree with this. However, black people are excited to see providers who look like them, while some white people are disappointed because they don't want black providers. There are also some white people who are surprised, yet OK with seeing black providers because it represents progress to them.

Disparities in nursing occur among all races, gender, language, or just basic appearance.

She or he who is without disparity, can cast the first stone.

regardless of ethnicity, stories relating to good and bad are present. what’s happening in society today is that people are NOT wanting to be equal they are wanting to be the “exception”.

Thanks to the first amendment, allnurses.com can allow as much virtue signaling as can be had, yet The United States of America is the freest country in the world, and everyone of our brothers and sisters born here or those who come in as immigrants, and get to support their family as a nurse here, should embrace that, and understand there are differences that we work through.

start looking for the positive, appreciate how far we’ve come, understand that we are still moving forward, and just show love. Stop with stupid *** mob mentality posts like this that make it seem like somehow the USA is not the best place on earth.

BTW black disparities are no more important than Hispanic, Asian, gay, male, Caucasian etc.

As for People who say certain “people“ are perceived a certain way, get over yourself, unless you are the physician, no one gives a *** if you’re the CNA, nurse, maintenance, or housekeeping.

I’m not a nurse yet, I’m currently in school to be one. I have experienced discrimination from patients, one in particular asking me if I wanted to be called negro or black. I responded by telling the patient to call me the name that I wrote on their board. Also I’ve had issues with training other aides and one in particular stating she didn’t think “the black aide” referring to myself knew what I was talking about.

Blondie28

Has 5 years experience.

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