Cultural competence in nursing – basic conceptualisation and tools for scientific assessment

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Introduction. The ongoing process of globalisation is contributing to the reconfiguration of social behaviour, even in small and relatively stable communities. The increased migration of people has led to more-varied groups of patients. The provision of nursing care which is consistent with a given culture, and adjusted to the particular needs of its recipient, is becoming a necessity. The development of cultural competence in the nurse's education, aimed at responding to the needs and demands of the global community, constitutes a current challenge for nursing.

Aim. The aim of this paper is to describe the assumptions put forward within the selected theoretical models of transcultural nursing, the nurses' cultural competences arising from them, and the possibility of their scientific evaluation.

Method. A non-systematic review of the literature based on the thematic selection of content and authors.

Results. The paper presents four basic theories and theoretical models of transcultural nursing which are well described in the literature on nursing, i.e. theories by M. Leininger, L. Purnell, J. Campinha-Bacote, J.N. Giger and R.E. Davidhizar, and their related cultural competences. The theoretical models constitute a foundation for the provision of nursing care to various populations, providing resources to overcome obstacles and challenges in situations where nurses care for patients with various cultural backgrounds. The article also presents the most important tools for the assessment of cultural competences based on the basic theoretical models of transcultural nursing.

Conclusions. Cultural competences in nursing set the direction for investment in self-development for both nurses-theorists and nursing practitioners. Understanding the components of cultural competences and their assessment plays an important and necessary role in the implementation of the concept of multiculturalism in nursing.

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