African Nova Scotian Grit: A Scholarly Personal Narrative About Nursing Leadership


  • Keisha Jefferies Dalhousie University
  • Sheri Price Dalhousie University



As an African Nova Scotian (ANS) woman, registered nurse, full-time doctoral candidate and activist, I have decided to share key moments from my experience navigating academia. I discuss how being an ANS woman is significant to this journey as well as the ways in which anti-Black racism reinforces the underrepresentation of Black folks in nursing. The purpose of this scholarly personal narrative (SPN) is to generate meaning from my journey to becoming a nurse leader. The guiding question for this work is: What is the experience of an ANS woman in becoming a nurse leader? Guided by Narrative Inquiry and Black feminist theory, my SPN uses the Ten Tentative Guidelines for Writing SPNs offered by Nash (2004). This unconventional approach to research situates stories as the fundamental unit of measurement which emphasizes the significance and meaning of our lives. The iterative approach to this reflective exercise produced two key overarching themes, namely: Developing Personal and Professional Identity, and Potential vs. Power. Each theme contains additional subthemes that capture salient elements of my journey to nursing leadership. This SPN has implications for both education and the nursing profession. For education, this work offers insight to address institutional barriers that perpetuate anti-Black racism. Improving program access for Black students, providing adequate resources to facilitate success and ensuring the representation of Black students, staff and faculty throughout institutions are vital. Likewise, similar insights apply to nursing in the areas of practice, education, research and policy. Specifically, addressing issues of representation and visibility, to foster inclusivity, within the profession is essential.


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