Cultural Diversity in Nursing

Cultural Diversity in Nursing

Cultural diversity is important and should be in the induction course in the nursing profession. This is because there is a huge variety of patients and nurses with their own sets of values and beliefs. Nurses need to be brief about the environment they will be practicing in; oriented towards that certain prejudices must be set aside in the medical care of any patients (Young & Guo, 2020). When teams of nurses reflect patients’ diversity, it becomes much easier for them to develop cultural competency that allows them to communicate with the patients openly. Nonetheless, patients feel safer in the care of nurses who value cultural diversity. Cultural diversity allows nurses to see beyond the disease and allows them to see the patient, with a name, face, and identity. To contribute to that particular society they wish to serve, nurses must first learn and integrate into that society. An effective nurse needs to be aware of those differences to successfully engage patients in their care. Their colleagues help them by sharing that information and modeling behavior appropriate to the individual patients. Less diverse communities benefit when they seek help and are dependent on people unlike themselves (Sharifi, Adib-Hajbaghery & Najafi, 2019). When the interactions go well, they see these strangers acting to give care and relieve suffering. They then can witness the humanity in nurses and make a connection with the larger community of human beings. Nurses can maximize their potential by learning about different cultures which helps in creating cultural sensitivity and awareness.

There are several barriers to diversity in nursing professions one of them is language. Language barriers can make it very difficult for nurses to give proper medical testing and feedback to patients, increasing the risk of miscommunicating important medical information to them. Another barrier to diversity negative attitudes such as prejudice and stereotyping (Sharifi, Adib-Hajbaghery & Najafi, 2019). Nurses who have stereotypes on patients assign labels to certain ethnic groups and patients. Diverse patients have diverse cultural traditions. This clashes with nurses’ personal and professional values. It can also create uncomfortable situations when there is an inability to understand one another. Discrimination against some specific cultural groups is also a major barrier to diversity in nursing. Some nurses fail to administer the appropriate care to patients belonging to some specific cultural orientations.

The concept of acculturation means becoming accustomed to and following the practices of another culture, as in the case of immigrants adapting to their new society or colonized people absorbing the cultural values of the colonizers. Ng, Wang, and Chan (2017) define acculturation as the process where an individual or a group of people from a minority culture adopt ways of a majority culture or a dominant culture, without forgetting and ignoring their own culture. An example, in a foreign country it is not necessary for me to eat their eccentric food, but if I can find my bearings and look upon each person I meet with a smile, then I can avoid the culture shock that comes as a part and parcel of having to find my place in a foreign land. On a side note, there is a term called “cultural appropriation”. As an example, if I go to Japan and wear a Kimono (assuming I am a girl), and I am not able to carry the dress well, few people may remark that I am being “culturally misappropriate”. Both “cultural appropriation” and “cultural misappropriation” are often juxtaposed. In this case, a person from a minority culture is trying to blend into the ways of the majority culture but has been unsuccessful although the intention was right, the outcome turned out to be different and wayward.


Young, S., & Guo, K. L. (2020). Cultural diversity training: the necessity of cultural competence for health care providers and in nursing practice. The health care manager39(2), 100-108.

Sharifi, N., Adib-Hajbaghery, M., & Najafi, M. (2019). Cultural competence in nursing: A concept analysis. International journal of nursing studies99(1), 103386.

Ng, T. K., Wang, K. W. C., & Chan, W. (2017). Acculturation and cross-cultural adaptation: The moderating role of social support. International journal of intercultural relations, 59, 19-30.





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