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  1. Banister, Gaurdia E. PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
  2. Harris, Allyssa L. PhD, RN, WHNP-BC
  3. Townsend, Carmela DNP, RN, MS/MBA
  4. Raymond, Nadia MSN/MHA, RN
  5. Masson, Patricia R. MSN, RN
  6. Dzurec, Laura PhD, PMHCNS-BC, ANEF, FAAN


United States demographics are changing, but that change is yet to be recognized in the makeup of the nursing workforce. The underrepresentation of minorities in nursing is a longstanding problem, resulting in missed opportunities for culturally sensitive care that can foster optimal patient care outcomes. This report describes qualitative analysis of leadership opportunities emerging from a collaborative leadership development program between an urban baccalaureate nursing program and a large healthcare system in the northeast United States. The investigative team used qualitative methods to analyze the experiences of 19 participating African American (AA) RN graduates. Findings demonstrated that, for program participants, active engagement in personal and professional nursing leadership activities was enhanced. The academic-practice leadership program was an effective tool for enculturating AA nurses into the practice environment and into eventual leadership in nursing and healthcare.