Dealing With Cultural Diversity In Nursing Education

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 Cultural Diversity In Nursing Education

Dealing With Cultural Diversity In Nursing Education

What Is Cultural Diversity,Implementation of Cultural Diversity In Nursing Education,Utilization of Cultural Diversity In Nursing Education,Outcomes of Considering Cultural Diversity In Education.

What Is Cultural Diversity

    Definitions of cultural diversity vary and may include differences in race, age, ethnicity, religion, and gender within a situation, group, or institution (Wood, 2003). It may also be the coexistence of different ethnic, gender, racial, and socioeconomic groups within one social unit (Wood, 2003) or the totality of socially transmitted behavioral patterns, arts, beliefs, values, customs, ways of life, and all other products. of human work and thought characteristics of a population of people (Purnell & Paulanka, 2003, p. 3).

Implementation of Cultural Diversity In Nursing Education 

    Cultural diversity is a complex, multifaceted concept that is essential to the education of nurses. Its complexity is inherent in the multiple ways in which it can be viewed. For example, in the context of representation, the term is used to depict images of particular social groups, which tend to be defined by race, gender, age, or socioeconomic status. When used in the context of ideology, the term does not refer to real people, but rather to a set of beliefs for the purpose of changing people's attitudes. When an event happens and people's thoughts need to be changed, diversity training or sensitivity training can be used to affirm a different set of beliefs or justify the attempt to change a stereotype (Wood, 2003).

    Students achieve understanding of cultural diversity by engaging in processes to promote their cultural awareness. The teaching strategies used most often to move students toward cultural competence include virtual patient encounters where students can apply cultural skills and knowledge to diverse patient populations in a safe manner (Rutledge et al., 2008); diversity experiences among students and faculty outside of the classroom that might involve a guest speaker (Ranzijn, McConnochie, Nolan, & Wharton, 2007); or more formal cultural diversity events aimed at examining diversity issues to increase cultural awareness (Sanner, Baldwin, Cannella, Charles, & Parker, 2010). Studying abroad and immersion experiences also promote cultural awareness and sensitivity, and decrease stereotyping (Ruddock & Turner, 2007),

Utilization of Cultural Diversity In Nursing Education

    There are three key points in understanding cultural diversity. First, professional nursing organizations value cultural diversity. For example, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN, 2014) supports more faculty and student diversity in nursing programs: "racial and ethnic diversity of health professions faculty and students help to ensure that all students will develop the cultural competencies necessary for caring for patients in an increasingly diverse nation." 

    The National League for Nursing (NLN, 2014) supports the creation of "a culture of diversity" within nursing programs that "embraces acceptance, respect and inclusively that is about understanding ourselves and each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the richness of each individual. While diversity can be about individual differences, it also encompasses institutional and system wide behavior." Finally, the National Advisory for Nursing Education and Practice stresses the need for increased numbers of minority nurses in education and leadership roles to develop models of care that meet the health care needs of minority populations. 

    The second key point is that despite the nursing profession's valuing of diversity and putting forth strategies to increase the nursing workforce diversity, there has only been a small increase in the numbers of minority nurses while the majority of the nursing workforce remains White (The Sullivan Commission, 2007). Villarruel, Bigelow, and Alvarez (2014) purport that a disconnect exists between what the nursing profession says about the value of diversity and what it has been able to actually accomplish in increasing the nursing workforce diversity. This disconnect is of great concern because US minorities will be the majority by 2042, increasing from 34% in 2008 to 54% in 2042 (US Census Bureau, 2007). 

    Furthermore, the continued increase in immigration and minority populations in the United States indicates that more nontraditional rather than traditional students are seeking nursing degrees, making the need to integrate diversity within nursing programs and the nursing profession a priority (Bednarz, Schim, & Doorenbos, 2010). A third key point is that nurse educators must shoulder the responsibility of moving students toward cultural competence and increasing cultural sensitivity so that they are qualified to provide culturally appropriate patient care.

Outcomes of Considering Cultural Diversity In Education

    Preparation of graduates to care for patients in culturally appropriate ways can be achieved by integrating cultural diversity into clinical and capstone experiences. Nurse educators must also be skilled at facilitating students through the steps of becoming culturally competent. There is a need for future research to focus on evaluating the effectiveness of learning activities aimed at promoting students' cultural awareness and competence and linking them to student learning outcomes. American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

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