Perceptions of Cultural Competence among Nurse Practitioners
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Session presented on Monday, July 27, 2015: Purpose: Nurse practitioners are at the forefront in providing quality care to diverse populations and must become cognizant of the importance of cultural competence in caring for diverse patients. The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of cultural competence and its integration in the delivery of health care in nurse practitioners practicing in a Mexican-American region of South Texas. Methods: A descriptive, qualitative design using grounded theory and purposive sampling was utilized for this study. Sixteen nurse practitioners, fourteen females and two males, participated in the study. Qualitative data collection was elicited through individual interviews and a focus group. The selected participants included nurse practitioners who were employed for at least eight hours per week in a primary or acute care setting. The study included a demographic questionnaire and a nine-item interview guide created by the researchers to elicit thoughtful reflection on the participants' perceptions of cultural competence and how cultural competence is integrated in their practice. Results: Data analysis involved grouping of response similarities until no new categories emerged. Affinity among the categories resulted in linkage into four distinct core categories or emerging themes. These themes provided a summary of what the nurse practitioners working with a Mexican-American population perceived as cultural competence and its integration in the delivery of health care. The four emerging themes include: 1.) Culture as multifaceted; 2.) Communication as empowerment; 3.) Cultural dissonance; 4.) Influence of myths, traditions, and complementary modalities. Conclusion: The study findings highlight the importance of advanced practice nurses' efforts to continue to leaRNnd increase their knowledge base and sensitivities to the culture of their clients in all dimensions of health care. The findings also support previous research and strengthen the understanding of the importance of cultural competency in the delivery of care to minority populations.