Community Health Nurses

Community Health Nurses

Cultural competence is important in nursing practice. According to Whitfield (2013), nurses must be culturally competent in their profession to address cultural issues and multicultural society needs. Community health nurses can apply strategies of cultural competence by engaging themselves in the activities of the community. Participating in the community will help nurses acquire knowledge of culture, tradition, strengths, and history of different communities. Moreover, it will help nurses understand cultural background and characteristics of communities or individuals. Therefore, according to Aponte (2013), it is important to implement health care practices with cultural competence in modern society.

The four strategies of cultural competence in nursing include the following, first is cultural preservation. In cultural preservation, a nurse supports cultural practices which are scientifically proven to be right. For example in India when a patient wants to go for surgery, his or her family members gather around him to pray and give comfort. According to Barbaran (2012), nurses should encourage such cultural behaviors. Cultural accommodation is the second strategy. In cultural accommodation, the nurse supports those cultural practices which are not harmful. For example in Mexico, a metal object is placed on the navel of the newborn to promote healing. According to Davis (2012), nurses should allow such ritual practice. Another cultural strategy is cultural re-patterning. In re-patterning, the nurse encourages the patient to change the cultural practices which are harmful. According to Huber (2009), the nurse should try to restrain the patient from using the herbs that can cause adverse effects. Finally, in cultural brokering, the nurse uses his cultural and health science understanding and skills to provide a proper and effective health care plan to the patient by Halabisky et al., (2010).

According to Reimer et al. (2001), possible barriers like cultural diversity and beliefs, cultural and language barriers can emerge during the application of the above strategies. For example, a community health nurse encourages girls and women in rural areas to use sanitary pads during their menstrual periods instead of clothes or rugs. Moreover, the nurse also explains to them the benefits of using sanitary pads using cultural re-patterning and accommodation. These strategies used by the nurse encourage girls and women to change harmful practices and switch to using sanitary pads which have healthy importance.


Aponte, J. (2012). Cultural Competency in Baccalaureate US Nursing Education. Holistic Nursing Practice, vol. 26(5), pp. 243-258.

Barbarán, F. (2011). Cultural Preservation Program for Alaska. Interchange, vol. 42(2), pp. 205-214.

Davis, C. (2012). Health care for homeless people: the role of emergency nurses. Emergency Nurse, vol. 20(2), pp. 24-27.

Halabisky, B., Humbert, J., Stodel, E., Macdonald, C., Chambers, L., and Doucette, S. et al. (2010). Elearning, Knowledge Brokering, and nursing. Cin: computers, Informatics, Nursing, vol. 28(5), pp. 264-273.