Nurses’ Perceptions of Their Cultural Competence in Caring for Diverse Patient Populations
Patricia L. Hart, PhD, RN
Nicole Mareno, PhD, RN

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Suggested APA 6th Edition Formatted Reference
Hart, P. L., & Mareno, N. (2016). Nurses’ perceptions of their cultural competence in caring for diverse patient populations. Online Journal of Cultural Competence in Nursing and Healthcare, 6(1), 121-137. doi: 10.9730/


The purpose of this study was to examine nurses’ perceptions of their cultural awareness, knowledge, skills, and comfort level in caring for patients and families from diverse populations.

Using a prospective, cross-sectional, descriptive study design, 2,000 surveys were sent to registered nurses in a southeastern state in the United States. Three hundred seventy-four nurses participated which provided a 19.3% response rate.

Participants reported a moderate level of cultural awareness, but perceived low levels of cultural knowledge, skill, and comfort in patient encounters and situations. Participants noted that cultural diversity training was lacking in basic nursing education, and in workplace continuing education programs. Multiple regression analysis indicated that higher nursing degree was predictive of greater knowledge of cultural competence.

Results from this research study continue to demonstrate the need for additional formal education and continuing education in providing culturally competent care to patients and families.

Keywords: Cultural competence, nurses, continuing educa- tion, research, policy

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