Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Margaret Healy


There are great health disparities within the AI/AN population according to IHS documentation. Historical events such as complex political issues, poor education, boarding schools, and loss of language have heightened this difficult healthcare situation. Furthermore, issues such as lack of health professionals (especially AI/AN nurses) and access to healthcare services add to the dilemma. The cause for the low number of AI/AN nurses who graduate from college varies, but one significant area to consider is the relationship between poor academic performance influenced by cultural conflict. The purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between cultural identities of students and their academic performances in a nursing program. This study surveyed graduates of the Recruitment/Retention of American Indians into Nursing (RAIN) Program to determine whether there is a relationship between cultural identification and academic performance. The Northern Plains Biculturalism Inventory-Revised (NPBI-R) survey instrument was utilized for this research. The findings suggest there is a relationship between cultural identity and academic performance. This means that to be academically successful an AI/AN nursing student needs to develop the knowledge and skills to cross the constructs of the home culture of his/her family, tribe, and community, to the culture of the school environment and culture of school environment.

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