Integrative Literature Review on the Importance of Cultural Competence in Nursing

Academic Paper, 2020

18 Pages, Grade: A


Integrative Literature Review on the Importance of Cultural Competence in Nursing


Background of the Study

Problem Statement

Purpose of the Study

Literature Review

Methods with Discussion and Analysis

Results and Findings
Creating Cultural Competence within the Nursing Organization

Nursing Implications



Integrative Literature Review on the Importance of Cultural Competence in Nursing


The Nursing profession has been established as one of the dynamic and evolving fields that involve interactions with healthcare professionals and patients from diverse backgrounds. The rising multicultural society and diversities call for nursing practitioners to prepare and get ready to deliver quality care and patient outcomes to every patient irrespective of their socio-economic status, color, ethnicity, or race differentiations (Kaihlanen, Hietapakka & Heponiemi, 2019). This target can only be achieved when nurses are trained on attending to all patients equally without prejudice and working in a multicultural society without any discrimination. This should begin from the core units where nurses are getting trained, especially in medical schools early enough so that when they finally get to work, they have the capacity to handle and work across different cultures and diverse backgrounds while maintaining respect for everyone regardless of the existing differences between them (Douglas et al., 2014). In this regard, this paper seeks to conduct a critical literature review on the importance of cultural competence in the nursing profession.


According to Sharifi, Adib-Hajbaghery, and Najafi (2019), nurses have been on the front line for a long time to deliver care to a variety of patients drawn from diverse backgrounds. Most nurses have realized that providing care in the nursing profession, especially in a culturally competent manner, is essential. This is considering that it ensures that every patient receives the right treatment, equal, and quality healthcare without being discriminated against based on their socio-economic differences, ethnicity, race, or color (Loftin et al., 2013). This characteristic is critical for nurses because it enables them to assess, diagnose, and to treat patients with the best interventions for quality health outcomes and quality care. In the absence of cultural competence in the nursing profession, some nurses may find themselves favoring some patients over others by giving them special attention compared to others. This might result when some clients are perceived to be economically stable compared to others or because they might be coming from the same ethnic background (Reyes, Hadley & Davenport, 2013).

Discrimination in the field of nursing can only result in increased mortality rates and more morbidities, especially in cases when nurses fail to give equal attention to all patients. In the contemporary world and current society, the most nurse has been working in different backgrounds and settings from where they grew and were brought up, and this explains the significance of training nurses to have a good understanding of the importance of diverse backgrounds, respect for culture, and diversity (Cai, 2016). Therefore creating the attitude of cultural awareness in the nursing field can be the best approach and strategy towards reducing the impacts and consequences of having a nurse who is not culturally competent. In this regard, this paper seeks to provide an integrative literature review on the importance ensuring cultural competence in nursing profession.

Background of the Study

According to Almutairi, McCarthy, and Gardner (2015), nurses who lack cultural awareness cannot be culturally competent to care for a wide range of patients. They might leave them unattended as they concentrate on those with whom they share the same skin color, language, race, or ethnic background. This is potentially dangerous because the lives of the other discriminated patients are left at stake, and anything can happen to them. Douglas et al. (2014) pinpoint that critically ill patients can experience increased stress, which can only deteriorate their health further. The nurse’s role to care by washing, grooming, feeding, and giving medications to patients might also not be accomplished in good time, and this also affects the healing process, and it takes longer than expected. It is also important to note that a prolonged healing process increases the length of stay in the hospital, and this increases the cost of health care (Loftin et al., 2013).

Some of the patients might not be able to pay for the bills because they are not economically stable. This shows that being culturally competent for nurses is the basis of providing quality care for all, which will fasten the healing process, and this will reduce the length of stay, and less money will be paid to the hospital (Sharifi, Adib-Hajbaghery & Najafi, 2019). However, not all nurses are culturally competent, and this requires urgent intervention. Lack of awareness, especially in intensive care units, can contribute to high mortality rates since most of the patients require urgent care.

Problem Statement

According to Jeffreys (2016), cultural competence enables nurses to work effectively in the context of difference. They become conversant with how to relate with patients from different cultures, respect them, manage diversity, and be sensitive when delivering care. However, this has not been the case, and some nurses are never sensitive about diversity and culture. This can even get worse in case a nurse has negative attitudes toward a certain race, ethnic group, or people of certain skin color (Cai, 2016). This can lower patient safety and lead to high mortalities. Developing a curriculum that trains nursing students on how to handle patients from different backgrounds can reduce the negative outcome related to this problem (Almutairi, McCarthy & Gardner, 2015).


Excerpt out of 18 pages


Integrative Literature Review on the Importance of Cultural Competence in Nursing
Kenyatta University
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
integrative, literature, review, importance, cultural, competence, nursing
Quote paper
Gabby Ian (Author), 2020, Integrative Literature Review on the Importance of Cultural Competence in Nursing, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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