“Spinning Their Wheels … ”—Influences That Shape How Nurse Educators Teach Social Justice

Claire P. Valderama-Wallace, Ester Carolina Apesoa-Varano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Despite institutional claims that social justice is a core professional nursing value, efforts to fulfill this claim remain uneven. The purpose of this study was to examine the circumstances that shape nursing educators' approaches to social justice. In-depth semi-structured interviews with 28 educators teaching theory courses in baccalaureate nursing programs shed light upon the influences that shape how educators integrate social justice. These include formative experiences, institutional factors, and curricular opportunities. Formative experiences include upbringing, educational background, and preparation to teach. Institutional factors consist of the type of institution, geographic location, and the specter of retention, promotion, and tenure. Finally, curricular opportunities and fit include the positioning of Community Health Nursing, fragmentation and tension between “content and context,” and the “driving force” of the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX). Findings indicate that the capacity to uphold the value of social justice is shaped by experiences across the lifespan, institutional policies, and practices related to faculty hiring, development, career advancement, as well as curricular vision. This study calls for a concerted effort to enact social justice nursing education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPolicy, Politics, and Nursing Practice
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • community health nursing
  • nursing education
  • nursing faculty
  • social justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects


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