The Lived Experiences of Racial Bias for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Students in Practice: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study

Maxine Pryce-Miller*, Charlotte R. Pennington, Eleanore Bliss, Alisha Airey, Annette Garvey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim This study explored the lived experiences of racial bias for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students undertaking an undergraduate or post-graduate degree in nursing, midwifery and allied health courses in the United Kingdom. Background Previous research indicates that students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups have fewer opportunities to succeed at university and this has brought about a race awarding gap in their degree attainment. The reasons for this awarding gap are complex and multi-factorial and it is crucial that the lived experiences of racial bias are explored from the student perspective. Design A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was adopted to elicit individual and collective experiences in the practice environment, a mandatory component of the student’s degree. Methods: A focus group and individual semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data from sixteen participants and analysed using thematic analysis. Results Three encompassing themes were identified which included a sense of not belonging, trauma impact on mental health and understanding covert and overt racism. Participants reported incidences of racism and appeared to be traumatised by their experiences within practice and the university. They also reported poor mental health and well-being as shared experiences and a lack of confidence in the university and practice to mitigate racial issues. Conclusions Meaningful action must be taken by universities and practice partners to advance racial inequality initiatives by having robust anti-racism action plans and processes. These should be co-created with students and staff to reduce the race awarding gap.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103532
Number of pages7
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Early online date11 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023, The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


  • attainment gap
  • awarding gap
  • diversity
  • equality
  • higher education
  • learning
  • teaching
  • practice learning
  • race
  • racism


Dive into the research topics of 'The Lived Experiences of Racial Bias for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Students in Practice: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this