Educating Aboriginal Nursing Students: Responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Report

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A 2015 Canadian report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued two calls for action that specifically challenge nursing education programs: a call to incorporate indigenous knowledge and learning, and a call to reduce health disparities between aboriginals and non-aboriginals. These calls to action raise questions for nurse educators regarding how best to recruit, retain, and educate aboriginal nursing students. A literature review was conducted to examine issues faced by aboriginal students in nursing programs, as well as cultural competence with nurse educators working with aboriginal students. While there is some literature that addresses the need for aboriginal students to successfully complete nursing programs and thus be able to provide effective health care to aboriginal people, the emphasis is largely upon strategies. Although there are some exceptions, these have largely been ineffective. We argue the need to think about thinking in order to improve the effectiveness of these strategies within Canadian programs, as well as nursing programs abroad.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20170064
JournalInternational journal of nursing education scholarship
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • aboriginal students
  • nursing education
  • recruitment
  • retention


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