Background: The potential exists for unconscious bias to influence decisions throughout the admission process to nursing school and derail holistic admission review processes. Although little is known about unconscious bias in nursing school admissions, unconscious bias has been demonstrated in nurse educators at levels similar to the general population. Method: This article examines concepts of unconscious bias, factors that may interfere with accurate and fair assessment of applicants to nursing school, and ways to mitigate unconscious bias in the application and admission decision processes. Results: Interventions that have shown success in reducing unconscious bias center on increased awareness of the presence of unconscious bias and cognitive strategies that include motivation and effort to counter the unconscious bias. Conclusion: Creating structures in the admission process that promote fairness and reduce the risk of relying on automatic judgments can minimize the influence of unconscious bias on admission decisions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas