[Visible minority nurses and vertical mobility in hospitals]

Rech Soins Infirm. 2016 Dec;(127):71-81. doi: 10.3917/rsi.127.0071.
[Article in French]


Canada has experienced a significant change in its ethnic and cultural composition in recent decades. The sustained immigration from non-European countries has given rise to new generation of visible minorities. This new trend is clearly reflected in healthcare institutions. However, the number of visible minority nurses (VMN) is particularly low in management positions. This research adopting critical ethnography and postcolonial approach focuses on the career paths of VMN in Canadian healthcare institutions. Nurses (n = eight, MVN) and managers (n = four caucasian) participated in a series of semi-structured interviews to gather relevant information about the representativeness of the VMN in management positions. Theoretical framework « Othering » was used to guide this research as it makes the link with “la lutte de classement” of Bourdieu. Four main themes closely associated with barriers emerged from the analysis namely ; Hiring and Promotion ; instrumentalization of IMV ; interpersonal and suffering and defensive strategies. Results showed that the VMN faced obstacles, often invisible, that contribute to keeping them at a lower level of the institutional hierarchy, including the hiring and promotion process that they describe as unfair and discriminatory.

MeSH terms

  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Career Mobility*
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Minority Groups* / psychology
  • Minority Groups* / statistics & numerical data
  • Nurses* / psychology
  • Racism / psychology
  • Racism / statistics & numerical data
  • Workforce