Cultural Competence of Public Health Nurses Who Care for Diverse Populations

Althea Michelle Otuata, Walden University


Despite advances in health, science, and technology, U.S. healthcare lags in providing access to care and quality care to racial and ethnic minorities. Cultural competence has been noted as a strategy to improve access and quality. The purpose of this project was to assess public health nurses' cultural competence before and after participating in cultural competence informational modules. Two conceptual models were used in this project for theoretical guidance: Leininger's cultural care diversity and universality theory and Campinha-Bacote's process of cultural competence. To assess the nurses' cultural competence, the Cultural Competence Self-Assessment Checklist questionnaire was e-mailed to 57 public health nurses at a local health department. Survey participants remained anonymous. Data were collected on demographics. A paired t test was conducted to compare the statistical significance of the results. A quantitative software tool was used to analyze the data. Study results showed a confidence interval of 95% at p = 0.15, indicating that cultural competence informational modules made a significant difference between the pretest and the posttest of the Cultural Competence Self-Assessment Checklist. Thus, cultural competence informational modules make a difference in public health nurses' awareness, knowledge, and skills, which can enhance their ability to provide culturally competent care to racial and ethnic minorities. The implications of this project for social change include supporting health care professionals' ability to promote and implement cultural competence practices for all populations to decrease health disparities