DiversityNursing Blog

Cultural Competency in the Nursing Profession

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Sun, Sep 23, 2012 @ 02:20 PM

By Shantelle Coe RN BSN - Diversity and Inclusion Consultant

Creadescribe the imageting an environment that embraces diversity and equality not only attracts the most qualified nursing candidates, but an inclusive environment also helps to assure that the standards of nursing care include “cultural competency.”  Cultural differences can affect patient assessment, teaching and patient outcomes, as well as overall patient compliance.

Lack of cultural competence is oftentimes a barrier to effective communication amongst interdisciplinary teams, which can often trickle down to patients and their families.

With the increase in global mobility of people, the patient population has become more ethnically diverse, while the nursing forces remain virtually unchanged.  Nursing staff work with patients from different cultural backgrounds.  Consequently, one of the challenges facing nurses is the provision of care to culturally diverse patients.  Hospitals and healthcare agencies must accommodate these needs by initiating diversity management and leadership practices.

According to Cross, T., Bazron, B., Dennis, K., and Isaacs, M. (1989); these are the 5 essential elements that contribute to an institutions ability to become more culturally competent:

  • Valuing diversity
  • Having the capacity for cultural self-assessment.
  • Being conscious of the dynamics inherent when cultures interact.
  • Having institutionalized cultural knowledge.
  • Having developed adaptations of service delivery reflecting an understanding of  cultural diversity. 

A culturally competent organization incorporates these elements in the structures, policies and services it provides, and should be a part of its overall vision.

From all levels, the nursing workforce should reflect the diversity of the population that it serves.  A more diverse workforce will push for better care of underserved groups.  It’s important to note that that diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness isn't just about race or ethnicity.  We must always keep in mind socioeconomic status, gender, and disability in our awareness.

Becoming more inclusive is a shared responsibility between nurses and healthcare agencies.  Becoming an “agent of change” within your facility can inspire awareness and affect attitudes and perceptions amongst your peers. 

Nurses and healthcare workers must not rely fully on the hospital and healthcare systems to institute an environment of cultural awareness.   

Nurses can increase their own cultural competencies by following a few guidelines:                                   

  • Recognizing cultural differences and the diversity in our population.
  • Building your own self-awareness and examining your own belief systems.
  • Describing and making assessments based on facts and direct observation.
  • Soliciting the advice of team members with experience in diverse backgrounds.
  • Sharing your experiences honestly with other team members or staff to keep communication lines open.  Acknowledging any discomfort, hesitation, or concern.
  • Practicing politically correct communication at all times –  avoid making assumptions or stereotypical remarks.
  • Creating a universal rule to give your time and attention when communicating.
  • Refraining from making a judgment based on a personal experience or limited interaction.
  • Signing up for diversity and inclusions seminars.
  • Becoming involved in your agencies diversity programs – find out what your resources are - most institutions have something in place.

By incorporating a few of these steps into your daily nursing practice, you are taking steps towards becoming culturally competent.

Inclusive nurses demonstrate that we are not only clinically proficient and culturally competent, but are the essence and spirit of the patients that we care for.

Topics: diversity, nursing, ethnic, diverse, nurse, nurses, culture, hospital staff, ethnicity, racial group, competence

Ethnicity Table

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 @ 02:12 PM

This table shows the number of students enrolled in generic (entry-level) Baccalaureate, Master's, and Doctoral (research-focused) programs in nursing from 2002 to 2011.

EthnicityTbl

Credit

Topics: diversity, nursing, ethnic, nurse, nurses, professional, ethnicity, student, race, racial group, degree

The New Diverse: Multiracial and Bicultural

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Wed, Sep 12, 2012 @ 04:05 PM

By Carolina Madrid

August 31, 2012

We tend to categorize every ethnic community outside of  Whites as a minority or diverse population group, but there’s a gray area that we’re failing to pay close attention to: the bicultural and multiracial population. It was the fastest-growing youth group in the country in the last decade, increasing almost 50 percent to 4.2 million, according to Census 2010.

As our nation’s population becomes more diverse, the bicultural population will continue growing and the segregated communications approaches that have worked in the past will not work with this audience any longer. Use the guide below as an overview to understanding biculturalism and how you can think about it in an upcoming campaign.diversity art

A cultural tug of war

Being bicultural, multicultural or multiracial means that you have ties to different cultures. It can mean that you grew up in the United States with roots in another country or that you have parents from distinct ethnic backgrounds. Either way, there’s usually a sense of being pulled in two different directions while trying to maintain both or assimilate into another.  Why does this matter? Because someone who you thought was a Hispanic, Spanish-speaking person may not be receptive to messaging that speaks solely to Latinos.

Inglés or Spanish?

The language preference of bicultural individuals varies.  Younger populations who went to school in the United States tend to prefer English, while older populations will favor their native language.  There’s also the second-generation population who doesn’t prefer one or the other. The language you use will largely depend on the demographic.

What am I?

The degree to which individuals associate themselves with a given cultural background also varies. Just as there are those who believe in maintaining a sense of heritage, there are those who don’t want to stay in touch with their roots and prefer to assimilate into only one culture. This is why it’s important to stay away from explicit cultural messaging that would isolate or turn off the bicultural or multiracial population.

Univision or CNN?

Just because someone speaks Spanish doesn’t mean he or she watches Univision, the nation’s largest Spanish-language network. In fact, he or she will likely prefer to watch English-language TV. Still, on CNN, there is an opportunity to reach the bicultural population with messaging about the Hispanic or Asian population.

Fusion nation

Fusion cuisine is a perfect example of the adaptation and merging of two different cultures. You appreciate the base flavor of the dish, while adding in contemporary ingredients and spices for a blend that’s the best of both worlds. Don’t be afraid to also use this approach in your communications programs, using a mix of messages.

Contextual decision-making

How you communicate with a bicultural population will also depend on the message that you’re trying to convey. Different scenarios will call for the incorporation of cultural messaging, while other times, this might seem forced. But what is certain is that early awareness and the ability to use it wisely will reap the rewards of a genuine connection.

 

Topics: multiracial, bicultural, diversity, ethnic, diverse, inclusion, race, racial group

Class of 2013: Women, Hispanics Driving Diversity Growth

Posted by Hannah McCaffrey

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 @ 07:44 AM


Overall, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) expects the Class of 2013 to total 1,744,000 bachelor’s degree graduates. Women will account for approximately 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees. This continues a trend that started in the early 1980s, the last time men earned more bachelor’s degrees than women.

In addition to the gains women are making, most racial/ethnic groups are gaining ground. Hispanic graduates, in particular, are responsible for much of that growth.

Overall, racial/ethnic minorities account for approximately 29 percent of bachelor’s degrees. That’s up from around 25 percent at the end of the 1990s. (See Figure 1.)  

Just as females account for a larger portion of degrees conferred, so too are females driving much of the gains in diversity. For example, the most current data show that African-American females account for 6.5 percent of degrees; their male counterparts, just 3.4 percent. Meanwhile, Hispanic females earned 5.2 percent of bachelor’s degrees, compared to 3.3 percent earned by male Hispanics.

Figure 1: Degrees Conferred by Racial/Ethnic Group, 2009-10 versus 1999-00

graph

Source: 2011 Digest of Education Statistics, Table 300. National Center for Education Statistics. Data are for bachelor’s degree graduates.

Topics: diversity, education, ethnic, nurse, ethnicity, racial group

Click me

ABOUT US

DiversityNursing.com is a national “niche” website for Nurses from student nurses up to CNO’s. We are a Career Job Board, Community and Information Resource for all Nurses regardless of age, race, gender, religion, education, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or physical characteristics. 

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all