Cultural Competence in Nursing Education

A lot of people believe that it is important to become culturally aware, sensitive to our surrounding, and competent in a particular field of study. Sometimes, when I travel, I usually think about the diversity I see within our major metropolitan areas to pass time on my trip. But even just in our small cities and rural towns, where there’s a seeming insufficient diversity, most people in America are a combination of ethnic skills, an expression from the melting pot that so characterizes our predominant culture. Within the era of genetic mapping, it is necessary for all of us to understand our roots. But how about individuals that are not like us? That is why it is vital to sometimes immerse in a culture which was totally unfamiliar when it comes to ethnicity, cultural mores, and religious activities. It is amazing how strange it feels not to stay in most, to become not aware on how to go about activities, communications, and traditions.

That has brought to ideas about a person entering a healthcare facility for the first time. Within our hospitals, there exists a special, different culture, a distinctive pattern of communication and unspoken rules of behavior that, the assumption is, everybody knows. Following a brief overview of our nursing education literature concerning the teaching of cultural competence in nursing and health professions educational programs (Institute of Medicine, 2003), it might be better to extend our discussions beyond what we should train as cultural competence, to maneuver beyond ethnicity and racial variations, to variations in culture which exist between patients and companies to better improve the quality of our nursing education programs. In healthcare conditions, we, the companies, would be the parents of the culture. Frequently we don’t want things to change, for the status quo feels safe, but change is inevitable, and the best thing to do is to make sure that the changes in our nursing education happens in a positive and beneficial way.