Black African Nurses' Experiences of Equality, Racism, and Discrimination in the National Health Service


  • Gloria Likupe PhD, MSc, PGCEA, BSc (Hons), DipN, RN,

    1. University of Hull, England
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    • Gloria Likupe, PhD, MSc, PGCEA, BSc (Hons), DipN, RN, is a lecturer at the University of Hull, England. She is interested in nurse migration and involved in cultural diversity research. She may be reached at

  • Uduak Archibong PhD, FWACN, FRCN

    1. University of Bradford, England
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    • Uduak Archibong, PhD, FWACN, FRCN, is professor of diversity at the University of Bradford, England, where she directs the Centre for Inclusion and Diversity and provides strategic oversight for equality and diversity across the institution. She holds visiting professorship posts at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa and Central University College, Miotso, in Ghana, and she is a fellow of the West African College of Nursing and of the Royal College of Nursing. She can be reached at


As the workforce in the British National Health Service (NHS) has become more diverse, several researchers have reported that experiences of overseas nurses have been largely negative. This paper explores Black African nurses' experiences of equal opportunities, racism, and discrimination in four NHS trusts in northeastern England. Thirty nurses from sub-Saharan countries working in four NHS trusts were interviewed between 2006 and 2008 using semistructured interviews and focus group discussions to gain an insight into their experiences in the NHS. This study suggests that Black African nurses experienced discrimination and racism from White colleagues and other overseas nurses, managers, and patients and their relatives as well as lack of opportunities in their workplaces. Managers seemed to treat British and other overseas nurses more favorably than Black African nurses. Although much progress has been made in valuing and embracing diversity in the NHS, this article highlights areas in which more work is required.