Introduction. This study explores the ways in which racism-related stress affects the well-being and career trajectories of Black nursing professionals and certified nursing assistants and their strategies for coping with such stress. Method. Semistructured interviews were conducted to explore racism-related stress and coping strategies. Data were analyzed using content analysis. Results. Findings illuminate how Black nursing professionals and certified nursing assistants experience both subtle and explicit racism in the workplace from a variety of actors, including patients, peers, and supervisors. Coping strategies included consultation with personal support systems, such as friends outside of work or family members. Participants described barriers to advancement, including disparate educational and mentoring experiences, and a lack of policies or standards to address racial bias and discrimination in their work settings. Discussion. Facilitating diversity in nursing and supporting nursing professionals of color requires multipronged approaches that include collaborations between education systems and employers.
Keywords: Black/African American; career trajectories; discrimination; nurses; racism.