Do Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic nurses and midwives experience a career delay? A cross-sectional survey investigating career progression barriers
BACKGROUND: Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic nurses and midwives are under-represented in higher and managerial roles. AIMS: This study explored the presence and nature of career progression delays for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic nurses and midwives and investigated where the barriers to progression were. DESIGN: A secondary analysis of data from a wider cross-sectional survey investigating workplace experiences, burnout and patient safety in nurses and midwives. METHODS: 538 nurses and midwives were recruited from four UK hospitals between February and March 2017. A career progression delay was viewed as being present if Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic nurses and midwives had spent longer on the entry level nursing grade and less time on higher grades in the previous 10 years. The analysis included items pertaining to: receipt of professional training, perceived managerial support for progression, likelihood of submitting applications and application success rates. Data were analysed using linear regression, odds ratios and t-tests. Results were reported using the STROBE Checklist. RESULTS: Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic nurses and midwives ( = 104; 19.4%) had spent more months working at the entry-level grade ( = 75.75, SD = 44.90) than White nurses and midwives ( = 428; 79.7%; = 41.85, SD = 44.02, < 0.001) and fewer months at higher grades ( = 15.29, SD = 30.94 v 29.33, SD = 39.78, = 0.006 at Band 6; = 6.54, SD = 22.59 v = 19.68, SD = 37.83, = 0.001 at Band 7) over the previous 10 years. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic nurses and midwives were less likely to have received professional training in the previous year ( = 53; 53.0% v = 274; 66.0%, = 0.015) and had to apply for significantly more posts than White nurses and midwives before gaining their first post on their current band ( = 1.22, SD = 1.51 v = 0.81, SD = 1.55, = 0.026). CONCLUSIONS: Interventions are needed to improve racial equality regarding career progression in nurses and midwives. Increasing access to professional training and reducing discriminatory practice in job recruitment procedures may be beneficial. IMPACT STATEMENT: Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic nurses and midwives experience career progression inequalities. Interventions should improve transparency in recruitment procedures and enhance training opportunities.