Preparing for patient-centered care: assessing nursing student knowledge, comfort, and cultural competence toward the Latino population

J Nurs Educ. 2014 Jun;53(6):305-12. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20140428-01. Epub 2014 Apr 28.


As the Latino population continues to grow throughout the United States, cultural competence training of nursing students at the baccalaureate level has become a priority. This study aimed to explore undergraduate nursing students' attitudes and beliefs toward Latino patients and their perceived readiness to provide care to Latino patients. A cross-sectional survey was conducted at four major nursing schools in the southeastern United States, which is the region that has seen the highest percentage of growth in the Latino population. Results from multivariable regression suggest that social interaction with Latino individuals and cultural immersion in a Spanish-speaking country predict student knowledge, cultural competence, and comfort with Latino patients. Direct influence by nursing programs, such as clinical experience, coursework, and language proficiency, are positively associated with the designed outcomes, but these relationships are not statistically significant. Our findings suggest that dosage of training matters. Implications for student recruitment, selection, and training are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cultural Competency*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration*
  • Southeastern United States
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Students, Nursing / statistics & numerical data
  • Transcultural Nursing / education*
  • Young Adult