Empowering cultural awareness of nursing students in the FEP/BSN program`s preparation of culturally competent professionals

Running header: CULTURAL AWARENESS OF NURSING STUDENTS 1 Empoweringcultural awareness of nursing students in the FEP/BSN program’spreparation of culturally competent professionalsNameInstitutionalaffiliation


Thecurrent society has increasingly become diverse in terms of cultureand the number of people from different backgrounds interacting. Thenursing profession has been impacted by this diversity in terms ofprofessional disparities and access to healthcare services. Thisproject aims at reducing the disparity and improving healthcareaccess by empowering practitioners from minority groups with theskills, knowledge and attitude needed by professionals who areculturally competent. The paper starts with an introduction, giving abrief description of the FEB/BSN program. Among the expected outcomesoutline in the paper is to study to increase the number of nursingpractitioners and facilities that are culturally competent. Barriersand enablers to the implementation of the program are also outlinedin this paper. The strengths and weaknesses of the study arehighlighted. They include having participants who have nursingtraining, having participants from both genders and using a mixedapproach in data collection and analysis.

Themodern society consists of individuals from diverse backgrounds andcultures. To meet the health needs of the people, It necessary totrain health practitioners from these diverse cultures. Rew et al(2003) point out that the increasingly diverse population calls forpreparation and training of practitioners who are aware and sensitiveto the topic of cultural diversity. They point out the importance ofteaching cultural diversity to nursing students. Practitioners whoare culturally competent will ensure that the health needs ofdifferent people are effectively meet. This research takes an indepth analysis of how cultural competence and awareness can bepromoted in the FEB/BSN program’s preparation of culturallycompetent professionals. The study looks into how the program can beeffectively used in increasing healthcare access and in reducing thedisparities in healthcare provision. The study aims at finding outways through which the numbers of minority nursing practitioners canbe increased in addition to finding ways through which diverseclinical facilities can be improved. The focus of the study is on useof technology in research, research dissemination,, methods forplanning and evaluating practice change and mentored experience in anongoing research.

Purposeof the study

Culturalcompetence in the health care field has grown in terms of importanceover the past few years. Rew et al (2003) state that culturalcompetence has been identified as an important aspect of nursingresearch. The main purpose of the study is to find out how effectivethe FEB/ BSN can be improved in terms of empowering and improving thecultural awareness of nursing students. Not only is the studyimportant in ensuring future health needs of the diverse populationare effectively meet, but it is also important is ensuring thatnursing practitioners have the necessary cultural knowledge toeffectively conduct research.

Aimsof the study

Themain aim of the study is to empower cultural awareness among nursingstudents. It aims at exploring the cultural awareness of students inthe nursing faculty, pointing out their strengths and weaknesses. The study aims at building on the identified strengths andtransforming the areas of weakness into strength. The study alsoaims at analyzing the levels of participation of nursing students inthe FEP/BSN program which prepares them to be nursing professionalswho are culturally competent. In addition to that, it aims atexploring how institutions of learning are participating inempowering students to be culturally competent.


Tomeet its goals, the research will utilize the following researchquestions

  1. What are the general levels of cultural competence among the nursing students and nursing facilities within the areas of study?

  2. In which ways does cultural competence ensure that the primary healthcare needs of the diverse society is effectively met?

  3. In what ways can technology be utilized in ensuring that all nursing practitioners are culturally competent?

  4. What is the role of research in improving cultural competence among nursing practitioners and in the nursing facilities?

Expectedoutcomes from the study

Thisstudy expects to increase the number of nursing practitioners andfacilities that are culturally competent. In addition to that, it isexpected that it will led to an increased number of multilingualpractitioners being brought on board. The study expects to identifyand incorporate practitioners from diverse cultural backgrounds.These would in turn ensure that the healthcare needs of the diversemembers of the society are met. Another expected outcome isimprovement of the primary healthcare provided to the multilingualand multicultural members of the society, with the main focus beingon the minorities such as the aging population and the poor who havelimited access to health facilities. The study expects to empower thenursing students to be culturally competent practitioners, which inturn will make it easy for the minorities to access qualityhealthcare. Another outcome that is expected is that the study willlead to development of a curriculum that incorporates technology andwhich would lead to an enhanced learning and rendition environment.Incorporation of technology in the curriculum would make it possiblefor culturally competent and diverse practitioners to be certified.

Culturalcompetency in nursing includes a wide range of scholarly thinking andresearch. It requires learning and practicing. It presents the bestways through which the needs of the diverse patient population can bebest met. This study expects to empower nursing students from diversecultural backgrounds with the skills needed for one to be culturallycompetent. The study takes into consideration the diverse nature ofour culture and the different personalities of people within thesecultures. It expects to identify and separate the common needs fromspecial needs and enable the students to be aware of thesedifferences. Cultural competence does not call for students to learnabout all cultures in existences but requires them to be aware of thediversity. By being aware of the differences between cultures, theywill be able to understand that there are different ways throughwhich a given situation can be approached. This means that culturalcompetence enables one to have knowledge of the different waysthrough which a situation can be approached.

Thisstudy also expects to empower nursing students with skills that willenable them to best advocate for the needs of the diverse patientpopulation. It is important for nurses to be culturally competent inthe modern society due to globalization which has led to increasedinteraction between people of different cultures. In addition tothat, disparities in the health industry and the changing globaldemographics call for culturally competent nursing practitioners. Toempower cultural awareness, the study expects to make nursingstudents and practitioners aware of their self and others, developpositive attitudes and excellent communication skills and createpositive behavior that will be important during their interactionswith patients and their families.

Carethat incorporates cultural competence includes skills, knowledge aswell as attitudes that focuses on caring for individuals fromdifferent cultures and who speak different languages. Culture has agreat impact on how the patient and healthcare provide perceiveillness and the whole process of healthcare provision. It isimportant for practitioners to have knowledge of the culture base ofthe people around who they are working (Singleton &amp Krause,2009). Knowledge of shared traditions and genetic origin is not onlyimportant to healthcare delivery, but it is also important to nursingresearch since manifestation of a number of clinical aspects such asdiseases vary from one community to another (Seeleman, Suurmond &ampStronks, 2009). It is also very important for attitude to beaddressed in cultural competence since the culture has an impact onhow different people think and behave. Understanding the attitudesof different individuals will go a great way in ensuring that theright care concern is provided to the patients. Improving on anumber of skills, such as language, also improves the culturalcompetence of a practitioner. By learning a different language anursing practitioner will be able to provide assistance to personswho speak a different language (Kersey-Matusiak, 2012).

Campinha-Bacote(2011) points out that it is important for nursing practitioners tosee all patients as unique individuals. She argues that that is whatmakes the core of cultural competence and patient centeredness. Shedescribes cultural competence as the required set of skills thatnursing practitioners utilize in providing effective care which ispatient-centered. Being cultural competent makes it possible forpractitioners to avoid cultural conflicts with their patients. Thispaper expects that students and nursing practitioners will beempowered to understand their world views as well as those of theirpatients which, in turn, will enable them avoid wrongful applicationof scientific knowledge and stereotyping.

Enablersand barriers to implementation

Thereare a number of barriers and enablers to implementation of theprogram. This barriers and enablers are closely related to those thatpromote or prevent programs aimed at improving cultural competence.The main enablers of this program include technological developmentsthat have made it possible for teaching and studying to utilizecomputers and related applications, globalization and theoretical andintellectual research studies. Incorporation of technology into thenursing curriculum had made it possible for students and teachers toengage in various activities that make students aware of the diversenature of culture. The internet has proved useful in learning aboutthe culture of other people. Through this curriculum thatincorporates modern technology, students can easily perform culturalassessment of their families and of others and do presentations ofthese assessments. Additionally, the students are able to hear frompatients from different cultural backgrounds through recorded or liveguest presentations. It thus follows that the nursing curriculum andtechnology are very important in achieving cultural competence amongnursing practitioners.

Theoreticaland intellectual research studies by scholars and professionals havemade it possible for players within the healthcare sector tounderstand culture and incorporate its content in healthcareprovision. Caring and transcultural nursing knowledge has over theyears made it possible for the quality of healthcare provided todiverse patients to be improved (Sagar, 2012). This research buildsfrom this theoretical and intellectual framework, meaning thatprevious studies will play an important role in the successfulimplementation of the program. The availability of a significantnumber of transcultural nursing books, principles and researchfindings enables the program to have a very strong foundation. Theimplementation of this study’s findings will build from thesediverse sources of information. The availability of these resourcesmeans that newcomers into the field can build upon the existing factsand even expand on it ( Sagar, 2012).

Barriersto implementation of this program included the late arrival of theNotice of Award and late approval of the budget. This means that theprogram had to start at a late date than planned. However, the mainbarrier was identified as acquisition of preceptors. The requirementto pay preceptors constrained the initial budget and required there-evaluation of the budget. The cultural barriers between thediverse groups of students required familiarization but with time,they became familiar with other. limited knowledge of English and lowhealth literacy did not emerge as a barrier to the implementation ofthe program since all the participants had good knowledge of Englishand were familiar with health issues.

OtherBarriers to implementation include discrimination, racism,stereotyping and prejudice. The fact that the cultural competenceseeks to bring together people from diverse cultures means thatstereotyping is likely to emerge. As people learn about the beliefsand practices of those from different cultures, they may startattaching certain behaviors to a particular group of people. This mayin turn create a cultural tension. Such tensions created throughstereotyping may emerge a great barrier to the empowerment ofcultural awareness and respect. Discrimination mat also emerge asindividuals compare their cultures with others. Some may perceivetheir cultures as being superior to others. Discrimination resultsinto cultural tension.

Strengthsand weaknesses of study

Theinclusion criteria for the participants required that they be adultsaged above 18 years. In addition to that, all the participants had tobe foreign students enrolled in the FIU College of Nursing andHealth Sciences. Additionally, the participants had to have priortraining in healthcare and there was no gender restriction. Theparticipants were drawn from different countries meaning that theyhad diverse cultural and ethnic background. This was a strength tothe study since it made it possible for practitioners from differentcultural backgrounds to interact and learn from each other. Bringingtogether people of different cultures promoted cultural competencesince they were able to learn about each other. One weaknesspresented by this condition was the language. Given their diversenationalities, diversity in language presented a weakness. Theparticipants had to learn English first in order to participate inthe study.

Inaddition to that, strength in the recruitment process is that all theparticipants were trained healthcare practitioners and were from bothgenders. The fact that they had prior knowledge of health issues madeit easier for the research to be conducted successfully.Incorporation of both genders meant that both the males and femaleswere represented in the study. In addition to that, it made itpossible for different attitudes expressed by different sexes to beanalyzed. The exclusion of non-adults in the study meant that theattitude and knowledge of these group of people with regard tocultural diversity and awareness could not be analyzed.

Amixed approach was used in this study. Both the quantitative andqualitative methods of data collection were used. It was importantto use both approaches because they led to reduced chances oflimitations each of the approaches is associated with. Thequantitative method is believed to be reliable, structured andobjective. However, the approach is over systematic and misses out onvalidity, and this has emerged as the main limitation to theapproach. Polit and Beck (2010) point out that a study’s researchdesign gives the description of the main approach that a researcherhas decided to utilize in their attempt to find answers to theresearch questions they have formulated. Parahoo (2006) argues thatit is important for a researcher to choose the most suitable surveydesign. This makes it possible for the aims and objectives of thestudy to be easily met.

Qualitativeresearch is viewed as being unreliable, subjective as well asstructured. Many researchers considered it as being more reliable andvalid, and that the data it provides is more reliable. Anderson(2010) points out that qualitative research is important to policymakers, because it makes it possible for the scenario and setting tobe described. The main traits of qualitative research include asking how, why, and under what circumstances. Additionally,qualitative research makes it possible for a holistic view of asocial phenomenon to be achieved (Heavey, 2011) .

Roleof research assistants and activities performed

Studentresearch assistants assisted with a number of tasks as per the requests made by our preceptor. The tasks included the preparationof the IRB application, protocol and submission of the projectthrough the TOPAZ system. Other tasks that the student researchassistant participated in included elaboration of “The Letter ofExplanation”, literature searches, retrieval, and reviews inaddition to compilation and assembly of data collection packets inQualtrics, a survey design program using the REW tool for measuringCultural Awareness in Nursing Students. They also participated inparticipant recruitment, data collection (interviews, chart reviews,observations), data entry, and contributed in discussions anddecision-making during team meetings. The students activelyparticipated in an “Evidence-Based Practice” EBP Workshopssponsored through a Health Resources and Services Administration(HRSA) and Nursing Workforce Diversity (NWD) Grant.

Oneof the personal objectives achieved through this project is that Iwas able to expand my knowledge of cultural competence and awareness.Additionally, I successfully reviewed and presented by researchfindings. Apart from that, successfully interacted with people fromdifferent backgrounds and was able to learn a thing or two abouttheir culture. I was also able to gain significant amount ofknowledge from this project. For instance, the importance ofattitude, knowledge and skills in cultural competence was manifestedthought the project. Additionally, further understating of thetheoretical and scholarly framework on culture and its relation tohealthcare was achieved.

Objectivesat the beginning of the project

Thefollowing were the objectives at the beginning of the project

  1. Exploring the cultural awareness of students in the nursing faculty, pointing out their strengths and weaknesses

  2. Analyzing the levels of participation of nursing students in the FEP/BSN program

  3. Exploring how institutions of learning are participating in empowering students to be culturally competent.

Research’scontribution to nursing, practice and society

Thisresearch will be of benefit to the public, the healthcare sector,individual practitioners as well as nursing as a profession. Nursesplay an important role in provision of social and health. Thisresearch will improve the skills of nurses in delivering care topatients and the public in general. By equipping them with knowledgeand skills that covers diverse cultures, practitioners will be ableto meet the various needs of their patients. Nurses occupy a uniqueposition in healthcare provision and this position enables them toreflect on the various expectations and needs of the patients and thepublic in general(Speziale et al, 2011). This study will encourage nursing practitioners to contribute andlead in research activities whose focus would be patient care andhealth care delivery.

Thisstudy explores a new approach to nursing practice and encouragesimprovement in healthcare delivery. It will therefore benefit thenursing practice by making it cost effective. Cultural competencewill go a great way in ensuring that productivity and efficiency ofnurses and nursing institutions is improved (Tingen, Burnett,Murchison &amp Zhu, 2009). The participates in this study will notdirectly benefit, but it is anticipated that they will gain a lot ofknowledge and skills from the culturally competent professionals whowill work alongside them . In addition to that, the society willbenefit from the high quality care that will future importantelements of cultural competence. The nursing practitioners will seekto put their knowledge in action therefore ensuring that the societygreatly benefits. Improved access to healthcare and reduceddisparities in healthcare will also benefit the society. Havingpracticing nurses who are culturally aware of the diverse needs ofpatients will make it possible for even the minority in the societyto get quality healthcare services. The program will also benefit theminorities by making sure that they are represented in the entirehealthcare provision sector.


Theincreasingly diverse population calls for preparation and training ofpractitioners who are aware and sensitive to the topic of culturaldiversity. They point out the importance of teaching culturaldiversity to nursing students. Practitioners who are culturallycompetent will ensure that the health needs of different people areeffectively meet. This researched aimed at finding out ways throughwhich the numbers of minority nursing practitioners can be increasedin addition to finding ways through which diverse clinical facilitiescan be improved. It analyzed how the FEB/BSN program’s preparationof culturally competent professionals could be empowered. The paperpointed out that Cultural competency in nursing includes a wide rangeof scholarly thinking and research. It requires learning andpracticing. It presents the best ways through which the needs of thediverse patient population can be best met.

Theexpected outcomes were outlined. It was pointed out that the studyexpects to empower nursing students from diverse cultural backgroundswith the skills needed for one to be culturally competent. The studytook into consideration the diverse nature of our culture and thedifferent personalities of people within these cultures. The paperalso identified a number of barriers and enablers to the achievementof its goals. Barriers to implementation of this program included thelate arrival of the Notice of Award and late approval of the budget.This means that the program had to start at a late date than planned.However, the main barrier was identified as acquisition ofpreceptors. The strengths and weaknesses of the study were alsoidentified and the role of research assistants as well as theactivities they participated in discussed.


Anderson,C. 2010. Presenting and evaluating qualitative research. Americanjournal of pharmaceutical education,74(8).

Campinha-Bacote,J. (2011). Delivering patient-centered care in the midst of acultural conflict: The role of cultural competence. TheOnline Journal Of Issues In Nursing,16(2).

Heavey,E. (2011). Statisticsfor nursing(1st ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones &amp Bartlett Learning.

Kersey-Matusiak,G. (2012). Culturally competent care: Are we there yet?. Nursing2014,42(2),49–52.

Parahoo,K. 2006. Nursingresearch.Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Polit,D. F. and Beck, C. T. 2010.Essentialsof nursing research.Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams &ampWilkins.

Rew,L., Becker, H., Cookston, J., Khosropour, S., &amp Martinez, S.(2003). Measuring cultural awareness in nursing students. JournalOf Nursing Education,42(6),249–257.

Robson,C. 2007. Howto do a research project.Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.

Sagar,P. (2012). Transculturalnursing theory and models(1st ed.). New York: Springer Pub. Co.

Seeleman,C., Suurmond, J., &amp Stronks, K. (2009). Cultural competence: aconceptual framework for teaching and learning. MedicalEducation,43(3),229–237.

Singleton,K., &amp Krause, E. (2009). Understanding cultural and linguisticbarriers to health literacy. OJIN:The Online Journal Of Issues In Nursing,14(3),11.

Speziale,H. S., Streubert, H. J., &amp Carpenter, D. R. (2011). Qualitativeresearch in nursing: Advancing the humanistic imperative.Lippincott Williams &amp Wilkins.

Tingen,M., Burnett, A., Murchison, R., &amp Zhu, H. (2009). The importanceof nursing research. TheJournal Of Nursing Education,48(3),167.