Thesis Title

Cultural Competence: Process Or Product?

Date of Graduation

Spring 2001


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Rose Utley

Subject Categories



The provision of culturally congruent care is a necessity if health care is to be delivered in an effective, efficient, and economical manner. Compliance with health care recommendations is enhanced when the health care plan considers the individuality of each client's cultural preferences, beliefs, and values (Pfeifer, 1995). Many aspects of culturally congruent care identified in the literature can be placed into one or more of the four categories identified by Campinha-Bacote (1995). These categories, which are fundamental to the development of cultural competence include cultural awareness, cultural knowledge, cultural skill, and cultural encounter. The purpose of this study is to explore cultural competence and potential influencing factors. Four Midwest nursing school curriculas were analyzed for their current content of each component of cultural competence. Nursing students enrolled in these same four programs constitute the convenience sample. The students were surveyed about their perceived levels of cultural awareness, knowledge, skill, and encounter in a pretest, posttest method using a previously developed multicultural tool. This study identified cultural encounters as an influencing factor affecting the development of cultural competence in the first year nursing student population. The findings of the study may be used to construct and modify cultural curricula to provide nurses with the knowledge and skills needed to develop cultural competence and to provide health care in a culturally congruent manner.


© Gaye Schaffitzel