The Purnell Model for Cultural Competence

J Transcult Nurs. 2002 Jul;13(3):193-6; discussion 200-1. doi: 10.1177/10459602013003006.


This article provides an overview of the Purnell Model for Cultural Competence and the assumptions on which the model is based. The 12 domains comprising the organizing framework are briefly described along with the primary and secondary characteristics of culture, which determine variations in values, beliefs, and practices of an individual's cultural heritage. All health care providers in any practice setting can use the model, which makes it especially desirable in today's team-oriented health care environment. The model has been used by nurses, physicians, and physical and occupational therapists in practice, education, administration, and research in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Central America, Great Britain, Korea, South America, and Sweden. The model has also been translated into Flemish, French, Korean, and Spanish. Although the model is only 4 years old, it shows promise for becoming a major contribution to transcultural nursing and health care.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health / ethnology
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Models, Nursing*
  • Nursing Care / methods
  • Nursing Care / standards
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Theory
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Transcultural Nursing / education
  • Transcultural Nursing / organization & administration*