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Authors

  1. McFadden, Alysha MSc, BSN, RN, CCHN(c)
  2. Erikson, Susan L. PhD

Abstract

This research study shows how race becomes ascribed through nursing theory and day-to-day workplace socialization processes. We show how public health nurses supporting and promoting breastfeeding for new mothers learn about and reproduce racialized stereotypes, which shape the care they provide. Even when nurses attempt to actively resist racialized stereotypes, most participate in essentialized nursing practice by using racialized institutional practices. Nursing theory needs to expand to help the nurse navigate and understand both the nurses' and client's local histories as well as individual-to-systems level constraints and supports that may impede, or promote, a mother's ability to breastfeed.