Cultural Competence in the Nursing Practice

The modern nursing practice calls for cultural competence due to the vast diversification of the patients. Cultural competence in the nursing practice implies respect, inclusiveness, the valuing of cultural and religious differences, commitment, as well as equity (Canadian Nurses Association, 2009, p. 1). It is especially important since the cultural aspects impact not only the health practices but also the health provider personally and the patient’s perception of illness (Murphy, 2011, p. 5). Therefore, possessing knowledge about how culture impacts the perception of health care is crucial for nurses in any setting ranging from administrative to clinical (Padilla, 2006, p. 5).

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In many cases, nurses are challenged by becoming educated about various cultures and bringing cultural sensitivity into the practice within the health care system (Collins, 2006, p. 53). The importance of cultural diversity has been addressed by the Standards of Holistic Nursing Practice as one of the core values that represent the basic requirements necessary for effective holistic nursing practice (Frisch, 2001, para. 12).

Therefore, if cultural competence is included in nursing education, the professionals will provide a much more effective holistic care to all patients of all cultures. Since holistic nursing implies a personalized approach, cultural factors such as food, clothing, beliefs, and communication patterns are of the highest importance (Rew, 2000, p. 203).

The topic is important for investigation since, as reported by de Chesnay and Anderson (2008), less than 10% of the nursing researchers addressed the concept of cultural competence in regards to holistic care (p. 27). Despite the fact that the importance of cultural competence has been widely recognized in the literature, the holistic approach that includes cultural competence still requires some exploration.


Canadian Nurses Association. (2009). Promoting cultural competencies in nursing. Web.

Chesnay, M., & Anderson, B. (2008). Caring for the vulnerable: Perspectives in nursing theory, practice, and research (2nd ed.). Ontario, Canada: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Collins, S. (2006). Is cultural competency required in today’s nursing care? Web.

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Frisch, N. (2001). Standards for Holistic Nursing Practice: A Way to Think About Our Care That Includes Complementary and Alternative Modalities. Web.

Murphy, K. (2011). The importance of cultural competence. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy, 9(2), 5.

Padilla, P. (2006). The basics of cultural competence: A conversation with Barbara Nichols. Web.

Rew, L. (2000). Cultural competence in holistic nursing. J Holist Nurs,18, 203-205.

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