Date of Paper/Work

5-2017

Type of Paper/Work

Scholarly project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing

Department

Nursing

Advisor(s)

Emily Nowak

Abstract

Higher education has called for the transformation of how students are being educated across the board. Unique challenges exist for schools of nursing as they strive to fluidly meet the quickly changing landscape of healthcare and the standards that are required from accreditation standards for both the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and their accrediting bodies. Not only do Nurse Educators (NE) face the task of educating the future workforce to be safe practitioners, they must do so through the creation of significant and rich learning experiences. An area of increasing importance in nursing education is the concept of cultural competence. For many schools of nursing, curriculum is designed to achieve the outcome of cultural competence through significant learning experiences such as study abroad and immersion opportunities. Research indicates that study abroad and immersion opportunities in nursing allow for students to gain a firsthand view of different cultures and how culture shapes our perceptions of health and wellness. Further, study abroad and cultural immersion opportunities allow nursing students to experience nursing practice, health care delivery models, grow personally and professionally, and gain a global perspective of health and wellness (Kent-Wilkinson, Leurer, Luimes, Ferguson, and Murrary, 2015). While these rich cultural learning experiences are prominent in baccalaureate nursing programs, programs are lacking for graduate students. More specifically, programs are lacking for the NE student who will need to be able to assure cultural competence in the students they engage with and potentially lead global immersion experiences in their future practice. In the following paper, the historical timeline of how the nursing profession came to understand the need for cultural competence, the influence that a provider's cultural competence has on patient outcomes, methods for preparing nursing students to be culturally competent in a variety of environments, and identification of areas that would improve the preparation of NE graduate students to teach cultural competence will be explored.

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