Nurses' experiences of caring for culturally diverse patients in an acute care setting

Contemp Nurse. 2005 Sep;20(1):78-86. doi: 10.5172/conu.20.1.78.


Identification of nurses' experiences of caring for culturally diverse patients in acute care settings contributes to transcultural nursing knowledge. This qualitative study aims to describe nurses' experiences of caring for culturally diverse adult patients on medical and surgical wards in an acute care setting. These experiences identify current practice and associated issues for nurses caring for culturally diverse clients. A purposive sample of ten registered nurses was interviewed and transcripts analysed. Main findings were acquiring cultural knowledge, committing to and engaging with culturally diverse patients. Strategies for change developed from these findings focus on increasing cultural competency of nurses by: implementing a formal education program; developing partnerships with patients and their families to increase cultural comfort; and increasing organisational accommodation of the culturally diverse with policy review and extension of resources. Further research to explore issues for bilingual nurses and to describe the experiences of culturally diverse patients and their families in general acute care settings is recommended.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease / nursing*
  • Acute Disease / psychology
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • Communication Barriers
  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Empathy*
  • Family / ethnology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • New South Wales
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / education
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Prejudice
  • Professional-Family Relations
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self Efficacy
  • Stereotyping
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transcultural Nursing / education
  • Transcultural Nursing / organization & administration