Cultural Competence Revisited: Nursing Students with Disabilities

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The demographic profile of students in nursing schools is changing in relation to many different cultural backgrounds. Despite the potential for students with disabilities to enrich the nursing profession, nurse educators may be perpetuating historical attitudes, values, and practices that exclude students with disabilities from gaining admission or identifying themselves as people with disabilities. Educators in nursing schools continue to ask whether people with disabilities have a place in the nursing profession, while the more salient question is, “When will people with disabilities have a place in the nursing profession?” More important, as we create environments that welcome students with disabilities into the nursing profession, how does the quality of nursing care improve and become more appropriate for people with different cultural experiences? The purpose of this article is to present the value of recruiting students with disabilities into nursing schools in order to enhance culturally competent nursing care.

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