Knowledge of Cultures

  • Larry PurnellEmail author


Nurses, as well as all healthcare providers, have a mandate to become knowledgeable of patients’ health beliefs and values in order to provide culturally congruent care. Nurses should discover the beliefs and values of the patients’ cultures in a way that does not devalue their varying cultural patterns but affirms respect for them. The knowledge base peculiar to cultural competency and culturally congruent health and healthcare represents a significant paradigm shift toward concepts and language that embrace a level of competency beyond mere awareness. The attainment of cultural competence is an important prerequisite for effective care to reduce health and healthcare disparities among vulnerable individuals and groups. Quality cultural congruent care may start with awareness, knowledge, and skills relative to cultural competency, but it must also focus on creating culturally competent organizations and services through organizational responsiveness. This chapter addresses essential knowledge required for providing evidence-based culturally congruent nursing care. Cultural and anthropological concepts as well as the variant characteristics of culture are included. Recommendations for clinical practice, administration, education, and research are included.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Florida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Excelsior CollegeAlbanyUSA

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