Healthcare Insider Blog

Alvernia RN to BSN students learn cultural competence

  • Healthcare Alvernia

Communication between healthcare professionals and patients is one of the most important aspects for quality care.

Imagine a patient who could not communicate his or her symptoms to a nurse or if the same patient had cultural beliefs that would not allow specific treatments. These types of communication difficulties become more prevalent as our nation’s demographics become more diverse.

According to the 2010 census, the racial makeup of Reading was 48.4% White, 13.2% African American, 0.9% Native American, 1.20% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 30.1% from other races, and 6.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 58.2% of the population, and 31.97% of Reading residents identified as Puerto Rican in the 2010 Census — the highest percentage Puerto Rican population of any municipality in Pennsylvania.

This diverse population is one of the many reasons that our RN to BSN students must be educated in cultural awareness.

Take it from one of our RN to BSN students.

“After completing Transcultural Nursing, I realized how important it is to be able to communicate with my patients who did not speak English and be aware of other cultures and their beliefs,” says Mary Cameron, who has been a nurse for 25 years.

Alvernia RN to BSN students are prepared for diversity in the workplace by taking NUR 312, Transcultural Nursing. NUR 312 builds students’ cultural competence by focusing on healthcare practices and beliefs in a variety of cultures. The course explores political, economic, spiritual and geographic factors affecting healthcare within the context of cultural systems and the client’s perception of health, illness and care. Client education and nursing research are integrated with accepted anthropological and sociological concepts and theories.

“As a transcultural nurse educator, I provide pre-licensure nursing students and RN to BSN students with the knowledge and skills they will need to begin the lifelong process of learning how to provide culturally appropriate health care to patients, families, and communities,” says Dr. Terri Adams, the primary faculty member who teaches Transcultural Nursing.


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