Essay about Factors That Influence The Practice Of The Nursing Profession

Essay about Factors That Influence The Practice Of The Nursing Profession

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There are many factors that influence the ability for advance practice nurses to provide culturally competent care. The nursing profession is challenged by the growing number of ethnically diverse group in our country that require health care. Minority groups now account for 37% of the population in the United States, and it is predicted that by 2050, that will grow to 50% (Lee, Fitzpatrick, & Baik, 2013). During the 2011 Census, it was documented that 381 individual languages and dialects are spoken in the United States. This variation in languages makes it extremely difficult to communicate with patients, assess their discharge needs, and provide education. The nursing profession is challenged by this demographic shift since the demographics of the nursing profession is very different than that of the general population. In 2010, the RN workforce was predominantly white, non-Hispanic, 5.4% of RN’s were African-American, 5.8% Asian/Islander, and 3.6% Hispanic ethnicity. Educators rank the same with 13% of all full-time faculty reporting minority status. Enrollments to nursing programs revealed the same demographics. Culturally, nursing is somewhat a homogenous group, from the workforce, to educators, and students; hence the emphasis on cultural competence. For the nursing profession, cultural competence is a learning process that all levels must work on to become more aware, and to reflect on our cultural attitudes and behaviors (Dudas, 2009).
The Joint Commission (TJC) in partnership with the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Service in Health and Health Care (CLAS) describe cultural competence as the ability health professionals and organizations ability to meet the cultural and language ...


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... learn of cultures. Caring, empathy, understanding, treating others as you would want to be treated are attributes of my personal philosophy regarding cultural competence. Though out my nursing career, I have come to realize that the profession of nursing is constantly changing and redefining. Defining practice through theory has validated nursing as a profession. Defining the skills needed for cultural competencies is rooted in caring, and core to the nurse-patient relationship. If a nurse cannot display caring or empathy, cultural competence cannot be attained. As our world becomes smaller and our society becomes more ethnically diverse cultural competence will be a necessary skill for health care professional. For nurses, caring, person-centered care, cultural competence, and quality is what defines practice for the 21st century nurse (Leininger, 1988).

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