Racial and ethnic identity in nursing research

Susan Gennaro, Heidi Collins Fantasia, Tayra Keshinover, David Garry, Wendy Wilcox, Elyse Uppal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Nurse researchers need to be able to identify the race and ethnicity of participants in their studies for several reasons including addressing health disparities, ensuring adequate representation from under-represented minorities, and making sure other nurses can understand how findings may or may not pertain to their own patient population. However, obtaining accurate information about race and ethnicity requires careful attention to norms of study participants. Race and ethnicity are not always viewed as 2 separate constructs and the definition of both changes over time. In fact, a random sample of 100 patients in 1 hospital found an 11% discrepancy between patients' self-identification of race using 2 different methodologies of self-identification. To optimize accuracy of self-identification of race and ethnicity, this paper discusses techniques learned in practice and in the literature for improving self-identification of these 2 constructs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-180
Number of pages7
JournalNursing Outlook
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethnicity
  • Health disparities
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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