Nursing Professor Martha Greenberg was interviewed for a story in Nursing Spectrum (Nurse.com) on preparing future nurses in cultural competency.
“…Cultural competency has been a part of nursing curricula for years. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing updated its framework to facilitate the attainment of cultural competence in baccalaureate nursing in 2008. But the importance of understanding cultures seems to be more pronounced today as the country’s minority populations grow along with gaps in healthcare quality.
“It [has been] long known that culture is a determinant of access to healthcare, specific treatment modalities and healthcare decisions,” said Martha J. Greenberg, RN, PhD, associate professor and chairwoman of undergraduate nursing at Pace University’s Lienhard School of Nursing, Pleasantville, N.Y. “Treatment and treatment responses to disease, morbidity and mortality are linked to memberships in cultural groups. Differences in positive health outcomes are disproportionately low in racial and ethnic minorities, and these differences lead to disparities in healthcare.”
As a result, schools including Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y., are updating undergraduate nursing curriculums to include more emphasis on cultural understanding, said Patrick Coonan, RN, EdD, FACHE, dean of nursing at Adelphi.
Pace offers two undergraduate courses on cultural competence. One, a nursing elective for four-year students, focuses on the major ethnic and cultural groups, as well as dominant American beliefs as they pertain to nursing and healthcare. Cultural Mindfulness, a required RN/BS course, focuses on the impact of culture and diversity in the delivery of nursing and healthcare to individuals, families, groups and the community, Greenberg said.”