Indigenous social exclusion to inclusion: Case studies on Indigenous nursing leadership in four high income countries

Teresa Brockie, Terryann C. Clark, Odette Best, Tamara Power, Lisa Bourque Bearskin, Donna L.M. Kurtz, John Lowe, Denise Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and objectives: This discursive paper provides a call to action from an international collective of Indigenous nurse academics from Australia, Canada, Aotearoa New Zealand and the USA, for nurses to be allies in supporting policies and resources necessary to equitably promote Indigenous health outcomes. Background: Indigenous Peoples with experiences of colonisation have poorer health compared to other groups, as health systems have failed to address their needs and preferences. Achieving health equity will require leadership from Indigenous nurses to develop and implement new systems of care delivery. However, little is known about how Indigenous nurses influence health systems as levers for change. Design: A Kaupapa Māori case study design. Methods: Using a Kaupapa Māori case study methodology, coupled with expert Indigenous nursing knowledge, we developed a consensus on key themes. Themes were derived from three questions posed across the four countries. Themes were collated to illustrate how Indigenous nurses have provided nursing leadership to redress colonial injustices, contribute to models of care and enhance the Indigenous workforce. Results: These case studies highlight Indigenous nurses provide strong leadership to influence outcomes for Indigenous Peoples. Five strategies were noted across the four countries: (1) Indigenous nationhood and reconciliation as levers for change, (2) Indigenous nursing leadership, (3) Indigenous workforce strategies, (4) Development of culturally safe practice and Indigenous models of care and (5) Indigenous nurse activism. Conclusions: In light of 2020 declared International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we assert Indigenous nurses’ work must be visible to support development of strategic approaches for improving health outcomes, including resources for workforce expansion and for implementing new care models. Relevance to clinical practice: Curating strategies to promote Indigenous nurse leaders around the world is essential for improving models of healthcare delivery and health outcomes for Indigenous Peoples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-624
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of clinical nursing
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Indigenous
  • education and leadership
  • inequity
  • minority
  • native
  • nursing
  • workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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