Transitions of South Sudanese Refugees: Reaching for a Better Life in America

Monday, 9 November 2015: 3:55 PM

Rebecca Randall, EdD, RN1
Paula Carson, PhD, RN, TNCC, CCRN, ACLS2
Thomas E. Stenvig, PhD, MPH, RN, NEA-BC1
Marlys J. Bohn, PhD, RN, CNL3
(1)College of Nursing, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, USA
(2)College of Nursing, Box 2275, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, USA
(3)South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, USA

A qualitative approach was used to develop grounded theory that describes the transition process of South Sudanese refuges who have resettled in the United States. Three focus groups, attended by a total of 18 participants, explored the transition process. The data was analyzed using constant comparative methods which included open, axial, selective, and theoretical coding. Results indicated that brought beliefs, expectations, and abilities conflicted with the reality of resettlement, including social and cultural aspects of the resettlement process. Former refugees identified reaching for a better life amidst the clash of being understood and understanding. Resources from others and losses and gains influenced the ability to navigate within the new environment. Results from this study help to understand the life transitions of former South Sudanese refugees as they resettle in the United States. These findings provide opportunities for further community participatory research and implications for health and social services program design to meet the needs of former South Sudanese refugees.