Cultural Competency in APN

Discussion prompt
Cultural competency means to be respectful and responsive to the health beliefs and practices—and cultural and linguistic needs—of diverse population groups. Discuss strategies to provide care to patients who are from different cultures and may have different cultural beliefs. For example, what might the APN do if the patient refuses a high-quality, evidence-based treatment meant to cure the illness because of cultural beliefs? How can the APN respect cultural beliefs while still providing quality care? In what ways can the nurse do more than simply “do no harm?”
(Examples from state of California)


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Sample Answer


Cultural Competency in APN

Cultural competency in nursing is of paramount importance as it is the cornerstone of providing care among people of all cultures. The ability of APN to offer and effectively deliver health care services that meet the cultural needs of patients’ best describes cultural competence. Language barriers, unique cultural traditions, and assumptions inhibit quality care and challenge sufficient cultural competence among APNs. In that case, it is essential to be culturally sensitive through strategies such as creating awareness, learning other cultures, educating the patients on medical practices, listening actively, and building rapport or trust with patients (Simmers, 2014). These strategies eliminate the identified cultural barriers. For instance, if a patient refuses high-quality treatment due to cultural beliefs, APNs should first build rapport and trust with the patient then actively listen to the patient’s claims as to why the procedure is not culturally accepted. The information acquired should help the APN openly and courageously educate the patient on the importance of treatment to their wellbeing. Explaining while eliminating biases or misconceptions outlined by the patient will help in changing their minds and granting consent.

APN can remain respectful of the patient’s cultural beliefs while providing quality care by using cultural skills, as Campinha-Bacote describes it. The APN can conduct a cultural assessment of the patient then employ tools such as LEARN in addressing the issues (Campinha-Bacote, 2011). In LEARN, the APN will listen to the patient’s perception, explain his or her viewpoint on the issue, and acknowledges similarities or differences seen in the two viepoints. This will result in recommending medical intervention the patient requires, and finally, the two negotiate a comprehensive and coherent treatment plan that recognizes the two perspectives. This tool hence, ensures quality care is maintained and various cultural aspects of the patient respected or integrated into the treatment. In such situations, a nurse would not have to abstain from doing any harm to the patient, harm; in this case, means disrespecting their cultural concerns, as LEARN incorporates a negotiated treatment plan agreed by all parties.


Campinha-Bacote, J. (2011). “Delivering Patient-Centered Care in the Midst of a Cultural Conflict: The Role of Cultural Competence” . ” OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Vol 16(2).

Simmers, L. M.-N.-K. (2014). Chapter 4: Cultural Diversity. In DHO: Health Science (pp. 86-100). Stamford: Cemgage Learning.

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