Supporting minority nursing students: ‘Opportunity for Success’ for Ethiopian immigrants in Israel

Authors

  • D. Arieli PhD,

    Lecturer, Corresponding author
    1. Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, Emek Yezreel, Israel
    • Department of Nursing, Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, Emek Yezreel, Israel
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  • M.J. Hirschfeld RN, DNSc, MD.hon, DSc.hon

    Professor
    1. Department of Nursing, Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, Emek Yezreel, Israel
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Correspondence address: Dr Daniella Arieli, Department of Nursing/Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, Emek Yezreel 19300, Israel; Tel: 005972503394734; Fax: 0097246423422; E-mail: daniellaa@yvc.ac.il; daniella.arieli@gmail.com.

Abstract

Aim

To report on an Israeli academic nursing project, aimed at supporting the integration of Ethiopian immigrants into nursing studies.

Background

The representation of ethnic minorities within nursing is crucial for the provision of efficient care in diverse societies. Nevertheless, successful integration of minority students in nursing programs is not a simple task and needs developing support systems that will attract and retain students from minorities. Ethiopian Jewish immigrants and their descendants in Israel form a community of 120 000 people. Their participation in the national workforce is low, as well as their average income.

Methods

The paper is based on formative evaluation, using action research, of an academic nursing program in Israel.

Findings

Four main strategies identify this project: (1) a policy of institutional commitment, (2) personal relations with staff, (3) personal tutoring, and (4) cultural safety education. The project has reached success in terms of attraction, retention and students' satisfactions. The project's two main challenges, which need further concern, are: (1) giving support without labelling and (2) supporting without creating dependency.

Conclusions and International Policy Implications

Appropriate strategies can enable success of minority students. Nevertheless, the amount of support needed for such programs raises two major questions: (1) To what extent should individual nursing departments be expected to bear solutions to this widely experienced problem? (2) How does focusing on one minority affect cultural safety of the overall group?

Ancillary