Sample Nursing Essays on Culturally Competent Care

Madeline Leininger’s transcultural nursing theory is critical in ensuring that nurses provide high-quality care to patients. It is one of the middle-range nursing theories that seek to integrate culture in the delivery of healthcare services. It consists of several concepts, such as cultural awareness, culturally competent care, culture universals, and cultural identity. Culturally competent care forms the center of Madeline Leininger’s transcultural nursing theory since it enables healthcare workers to offer sensitive care to patients.

Description and Analysis of the Concept

Cultural competence care focuses on the ability of healthcare organizations and professionals to provide healthcare services aligned with the cultural, linguistic, and social needs of patients. The concept appreciates that patients’ health and well-being are highly influenced by their individual beliefs, values, and behaviors. It requires healthcare providers and professionals to be aware of the various cultural features that define their patients (Larsen & Reif, 2011). These characteristics include occupation, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, language, race, language, socioeconomic status, gender, and mental ability.

It requires healthcare institutions to provide relevant training on their staff about cross-cultural issues and competence. Cultural competency training involves developing programs that improve workers’ knowledge about the culture of various groups. The acquisition of group-specific knowledge is critical in ensuring that healthcare professionals are sensitive to the culture of each group of patients (Quine & Alberts, 2012). The new knowledge focuses on the health behaviors, beliefs, patterns, and customs of various groups in the area. Healthcare professionals also learn about the acceptable customs and taboos of a particular group. These cultural aspects are essential since they help healthcare providers to interact freely with patients during the delivery of services. For example, culturally competent care for the Latino population will focus on this group’s health beliefs and behaviors. Consequently, nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals will offer this group high-quality healthcare services aligned with their cultural needs.

Cultural competence care does not assume the dynamics in each of the groups of patients. For instance, there are significant differences among Latino patients living in the United States. For example, there are sixth-generation Latinos from Mexico and first-generation Latino patients from Guatemala. Although these two groups have some common characteristics, their health behaviors and beliefs differ in many ways. Hence, healthcare professionals learn to be sensitive to the unique features of each of these subgroups of patients. Cultural awareness allows them to provide competent healthcare services to each subgroup. The concept of cultural competence is also closely related to culturally congruent care, which creates a link between the patient and the provider (Schim & Doorenbos, 2010). It goes beyond the provision of healthcare services by analyzing other dynamics of patients. As a result, healthcare providers can understand the needs of patients from both perspectives.

The Benefits of the concept

The provision of culturally competent care is vital since it enhances the quality of care and health outcomes. It also plays a crucial role in eliminating or minimizing cases of ethnic and racial disparities. In most countries, healthcare systems are designed to meet the healthcare needs of the majority groups. In most cases, the cultural aspects of the minority groups are ignored in developing healthcare systems. However, culturally competent care pays attention to every group and subgroup in the population to ensure access and quality care to all. It addresses the cultural stereotypes that healthcare workers may have on patients from minority racial and ethnic groups. This goal is achieved through increased reflective awareness, active listening techniques, empathy, and other cognitive mechanisms.

Tools for Measuring the Concept

Healthcare providers and professionals can use many tools to assess whether they are offering culturally competent care to their patients. The tools can be applied in training, clinical, and organizational settings. Some of these tools include ethnic-sensitive inventory (ESI), the Cultural Competency Instrument (CCI), Multicultural Counseling Self Efficacy Scale, Agency Cultural Competence Checklist, and Iowa Cultural Understanding Assessment (Hartin, Branson, & Reyes, 2013). This study compares the nurse cultural competence scale, the cultural awareness scale, and the Campinha-Bacote’s Inventory tools.


All three tools help to assess the level of cultural awareness among healthcare workers using different elements of culture. The tools utilize the Likert scale and questions to assess the level of cultural awareness among healthcare professionals (Hartin et al., 2013). The results emanating from these tools indicate whether a healthcare worker has achieved the required cultural care competence or not. The internal consistency, validity, accuracy, and reliability of the three instruments are high. Managers and individual healthcare workers can rely on the results of these tools to improve their level of cultural awareness. Therefore, the three tools share in the methodology they use to assess the level of cultural competence among the healthcare professional workers.


The Campinha-Bacote’s Inventory tool consists of 25 questions for measuring cultural desire, knowledge, skill, encounters, and awareness. A worker can fill the questionnaire within 15 minutes, and scores range between 25 and 100. It also utilizes the Likert scale of 0 to 4 points to assess whether the candidate agrees with various questions related to cultural competence. The cultural awareness scale (CAS) was developed to measure the level of competence among nursing students. The instrument consists of 36 items where the candidate is expected to agree or disagree with the provided questions. Its scale also has seven points, unlike Campinha-Bacote’s Inventory, which has four points (Hartin et al., 2013). It assesses research issues, general education experience, clinical practice, cognitive awareness of attitudes, and clinical and classroom instructions. In terms of interpreting the results, CAS indicates that cultural awareness is the minimum level of competence that a healthcare worker should have to offer adequate services to diverse patients. The Cultural Competence Assessment (CCA) measures the cultural knowledge of workers in the healthcare sector. The tool uses four domains of culture, namely, cultural awareness, cultural behaviors, cultural sensitivity, and cultural diversity. It also applies a five-point Likert scale and 26 items to measure cultural awareness knowledge of the candidate.


The Madeline Leininger transcultural nursing theory cannot be complete without the concept of culturally competent care. The concept is vital since it ensures that healthcare professionals and providers are sensitive to their patient’s cultural needs. It can be achieved through training and developing the appropriate policies in healthcare organizations. Nurses can assess their ability to provide culturally competent care using various tools. The Campinha-Bacote’s Inventory, the culture awareness scale, and the cultural competence scale are some of the reliable tools for measuring the level of cultural competence among healthcare professionals. However, each instrument uses a different number of its items and scale to show the required results.


Hartin, V., Branson, M.,  &  Reyes, H.(2013).Measures of Cultural Competence in Nurses: An Integrative Review. The Scientific World Journal, 2013. Retrieved from

Larsen, R., & Reif, L.  (2011). Effectiveness of cultural immersion and culture classes for enhancing nursing students’ transcultural self-efficacy. Journal of Nursing Education, 50(6), 350–354.

Quine, D. H., &. Alberts, N.M. (2012). Cultural self-efficacy of Canadian nursing students caring for Aboriginal patients with diabetes. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 23(3), 306–312.

Schim, S.,  & Doorenbos, A. (2010). A Three-dimensional Model of Cultural Congruence: Framework for Intervention. Journal of Social Work and End-of-Life Palliative Care, 6(3-4), 256–270.