Cultural Competence in Rural Nursing Education: Are We There Yet?

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This multimethod study assessed the capacity of nursing education programs to promote culturally congruent practice in a single rural state.


An important objective of our HRSA-funded Advanced Education in Nursing grant was to increase nurse educator proficiency in teaching cultural concepts. This study served as a statewide baseline assessment to inform future faculty development efforts.


Subjects included faculty, graduate students, and clinical educators representing all levels of nursing education programs. Self-report cultural proficiency data were collected via survey while focus groups and electronic surveys were utilized to assess curricula.


No significant differences in proficiency were found by faculty age or education. Qualitative data indicated that concepts of culture are not easily identified across the curriculum.


There is need for increased and explicit focus on concepts of culture in nursing education programs to prepare nurses for culturally congruent practice with potential to reduce health disparities.

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