Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Cultural Competence of Practicing Nurses Entering an RN-BSN Program

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Cultural Competence of Practicing Nurses Entering an RN-BSN Program

Article excerpt

R E S E A R C H

ABSTRACT

Aim. The aim of this exploratory research was to examine the cultural competence of practicing nurses entering an RN to BSN program.

Background. As nonwhite populations increase in the United States, the cultural competence of nurses increases in importance. With 38 percent of baccalaureate nursing students in RN-BSN programs, it is important to examine the cultural competence of this population.

Method. Fifty-three RN-BSN students completed the Inventory for Assessing the Process of Cultural Competency Among Healthcare Professionals-Revised (IAPCC-R) upon program entry; 50.9 percent were culturally competent as determined by the tool.

Results. A strong correlation existed between IAPCC-R scores and student age, with students 20 to 30 years old scoring significantly higher than those in the age range of 41 to 50.

Conclusion.The findings suggest and invite more extensive research on the success of the systematic nursing education initiatives of current associate degree programs and adherence to NLNAC standards for cultural competence, particularly in the cultural skill construct.

Key Words Cultural Competence - RN to BSN Student - Baccalaureate Completion Education - IAPCC-R - NLNAC Standards

THE CULTURALLY COMPETENT NURSE IS DESCRIBED AS ONE WHO HAS THE ABILITY TO ASSESS AND PLAN EFFECTIVELY FOR PATIENTS OF VARYING CULTURES (CALVILLO ET AL. , 2009) . This skill involves self-awareness resulting from self-exploration and communication with members of other cultures. As nonwhite populations increase within the United States, cultural competence among nurses increases in importance. It is predicted that by 2050, the population of nonwhites will be equivalent to that of European Americans, with each group contributing about 50 percent to the total population (US Census Bureau, 2009)

Registered nurses returning for baccalaureate degrees can build on their knowledge and work experience to gain a global perspective of culturally appropriate care. From 2010 to 2011, enrollment in RN to BSN programs increased by 15.8 percent, reflecting nine straight years of growing enrollment (American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN], 2012).

This study was designed to examine the cultural competence of practicing nurses entering an RN-BSN program. Congruent with calls for evidence-based nursing education (Broome, 2009), the aim was to provide evidence for nurse educators to tailor curriculum development for this student population. The Inventory for Assessing the Process of Cultural Competency Among Healthcare Professionals-Revised (IAPCC-R), a frequent choice for research focusing on the cultural competence of health care clinicians, was used for this study.

Background Professional nursing and health care organizations have endorsed formal education in cultural competence. In 2001, the Office of Minority Health published National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services, mandating that health care organizations provide services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate. This call is reflected in the educational standards, core values, and competencies of the National League for Nursing (2010), National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC, 2008), and the AACN (2008). The NLNAC requires that nursing program curricula "include cultural, ethnic, and socially diverse concepts and may also include experiences from regional, national, or global perspectives" (p. 4, standard 4.4).

Findley (2008), Johnson (2008), Starr and Wallace (2009), Toney (2004), and Wilber (2008) used the IAPCC-R to evaluate the cultural competence of RNs in the United States; Brathwaite (2005) and Mahabeer (2009) used it with Canadian nurses; and Kawashima (2008) used it with Japanese nurses. The IAPCC-R was also used to evaluate the cultural competence of nurse faculty (Kardong-Edgren, 2007; Lampley, Little, Beck-Little, & Xu, 2008; Sargent, Sedlak & Martsolf, 2005). …

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