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Cultural Competence in Beginning and Graduating Nursing


The American population is characterized by many ethnic and social groups. The current level of diversity influences the performance of different healthcare professionals in an attempt to deliver quality care. This issue of “cultural diversity faces all healthcare practitioners across the globe” (Loftin, Hartin, Branson, & Reyes, 2013, p. 2). This essay gives a critical analysis of the article “A comparative analysis of cultural competence in the beginning and graduating nursing” by Helen Reyes, Deborah Davenport, and Lance Hadley. The discussion goes further to offer powerful insights that can be used to empower nursing students and eventually transform the nature of medical care.

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Societies have many people from diverse backgrounds. These members of the population tend to have unique social, emotional, cultural, and religious values. In the recent past, the nursing profession has focused on the best approaches to ensure every student acquires adequate cultural competencies. The ultimate goal of this strategy is to deliver culturally competent and evidence-based care to different patients (Reyes, Hadley, & Davenport, 2013). Unfortunately, the country does not have an adequate policy implementation for Transcultural Nursing (TN) education. Institutions that embrace the idea lack appropriate procedures or frameworks to support the needs of the targeted nursing students. New changes have emerged whereby some schools equip their learners with cultural competencies. Past studies have revealed, “a unique trend whereby culture competence is supported through education” (Reyes et al., 2013). However, the views and perceptions of different learners regarding the acquisition of cultural competence skills are something that has been ignored.


That being the case, the authors of the article wanted “to determine if the self-perception of cultural competence in baccalaureate nursing students as a result of their education and experiences increased during the nursing program” (Reyes et al., 2013, p. 3). During the study, the targeted cultural issues included the beliefs, values, and attitudes embraced by specific members of a community. The study targeted students in their first and last clinical semesters of the curriculum.

Research Methods

The scholars used a powerful method to conduct the study. The first thing was to come up with an effective research question. The question was aimed at examining nursing students’ perceptions of cultural competence (Reyes et al., 2013). The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The researchers used comparative descriptive testing for the two groups of nursing students. Data was collected from the participants using the CAA tool. The collected data was then “analyzed using the independent t-test” (Reyes et al., 2013, p. 4).

Review of Literature

The foundations of rights and social justice explain why all people should be treated with equality. This idea has been echoed by many healthcare professionals in order to support the needs of many patients. This knowledge has encouraged healthcare institutions and educational facilities to implement new nursing models that can address the diverse needs of different clients. Social and cultural differences explain why some people in the community might find it hard to receive quality care. The quality of nursing care has always been determined by specific factors such as effectiveness, consistency, and cost (Loftin et al., 2013). However, new ideas have emerged whereby cultural competence has become a critical definition of quality in medical practice. Many healthcare professionals and nurses are presently focusing on the best strategies to improve their cultural competence skills (Douglas et al., 2014).

Teaching facilities have gone further to embrace the concept of cultural competence. It is agreeable that the process of nursing education should prepare the learners for a wide range of duties in their respecting working environments. Hospitals attract patients who have different cultural, religious, and social values. The most qualified and competent nurse is the one who can offer effective care that is in accordance with these values. Nursing education institutions have been embracing various strategies to include cultural competence in the curriculum (Douglas et al., 2014). Although there are no policy guidelines to influence this development, nursing schools have managed to equip their learners with the most desirable cultural competencies.

The current information, however, does not explain how different learners perceive or appreciate such competencies. Many learners have been observed to appreciate the concept of cultural competence after completing their baccalaureate programs. This gap explains why nursing schools should implement powerful frameworks to support the needs of their learners (Loftin et al., 2013). By so doing, the students will acquire superior competencies and eventually offer adequate care to patients from diverse backgrounds.

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Implications for Nursing Practice

The selected cultural group for this exercise is the African American community. Members of this community are associated with a wide range of health challenges. Statistics have proved that “African Americans are prone to diseases such as cancer, obesity, and tuberculosis” (Geyen, 2012, p. 6). The social and economic attributes of these people make it impossible for them to receive adequate health care. This situation explains why there is a huge disparity in the United States’ healthcare sector.

The issue of cultural competence is critical in the field of nursing. The information obtained from the above article can guide learning institutions in equipping their nursing students with the best cultural competence skills (Reyes et al., 2013, p. 4). The students should be aware of the concept of diversity. They should embrace the best attitudes to address the differences affecting their patients. Knowledge can make it easier for nurses to design multidisciplinary teams. These groups will ensure every targeted patient receives culturally competent care (Loftin et al., 2013). Members of the African American community will also benefit from this new practice.

Cultural competence will make it easier for nurses to understand and address the unique health challenges affecting members of the African American community. The healthcare providers will interact with patients from different cultural groups (Geyen, 2012). That being the case, nursing education schools should implement a powerful curriculum that supports the cultural competence concept. Every core nursing courses included in the program should equip the students with appropriate cultural competence skills. Nursing students who acquire these skills will work hard to deliver culturally competent care to their patients.


A new teaching model focusing on the concept of cultural diversity can equip nursing students with the best skills. The acquired skills will support the students and eventually become competent providers of evidence-based nursing care. Many cultural groups, such as African Americans, encounter numerous whenever trying to get quality nursing care (Geyen, 2012). The acquisition of adequate cultural competencies will make it easier for nurses to provide quality care to their patients. A transformation in the nursing process should, therefore, begin with the inclusion of cultural competence concepts in the curriculum.


Douglas, M., Rosenkoetter, M., Pacquiao, D., Callister, L., Hattar-Pollara, M., Lauderdale, J.,…Purnell, L. (2014). Guidelines for implementing culturally competent nursing care. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 1(1), 1-13.

Geyen, D. (2012). Behavioral changes for African Americans to improve health, embrace culture, and minimize disparities. ECI Interdisciplinary Journal for Legal and Social Policy, 1(1), 1-15.

Loftin, C., Hartin, V., Branson, M., & Reyes, H. (2013). Measures of cultural competencies in nurses: An integrative review. The Scientific World Journal, 1(2), 1-12.

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Reyes, H., Hadley, L., & Davenport, D. (2013). A comparative analysis of cultural competence in beginning and graduating nursing students. ISRN Nursing, 1(1), 1-14.

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