Program Benchmark - Curriculum Development Issue Paper

Educational nursing institutions play a crucial role in shaping beliefs and attitudes of nurses. The overall objective of these institutions is to prepare future nurses for assuming relevant nursing obligations and responsibilities. Today’s population of nursing students in colleges and universities represents a multicultural group (Malone, 2014). Students come from different social backgrounds, religions, as well as have various native languages and classes. Therefore, educators face the challenge of developing an education program that will portray diversity and, at the same time, fulfill the overall goal of learning institutions. This essay discusses the problem of the lack of a multicultural sensitive nursing curriculum, its impact on nurse education, statistical findings, the comparison between the traditional and proposed culturally sensitive nursing curriculum, and effective strategies to solve this problem.    

The Impact of This Issue on the Nurses Education

Multicultural education refers to an education that values both diversity and perspectives of multicultural societies on a regular basis. The dramatic changes evidenced in the composition of nursing students in the higher learning institutions mandate a change in how schools approach nursing higher education (Bednarz, Schim, & Doorenbos, 2010). Traditional nursing education programs have been guided by various principles favoring the white population segment of the U.S. society. Furthermore, they have been structured to aid prospective nursing students to function well within this group of the society. Nevertheless, there is an urgent need for institutions to explore and implement multicultural nursing education in their learning curriculum.          

Most nursing institutions in the United States are reluctant to adopt this approach to the nursing education. There are two principal reasons that have contributed to the reluctance to the aggressive implementation of this form of the multicultural approach in the nursing education curriculum. First, nursing educators lack necessary preparation materials and the knowledge base necessary to put the theory and experience into practice (NSGMED, 2015). Second, some nursing schools have a low influence of multicultural students for them to adopt and practice transcultural nursing education. They also lack access to experienced nurses who can offer them essential guidelines on teaching students how to handle patients from diverse societies.

Statistical Findings

According to the United States Census Bureau, persons from ethnic and racial minority groups accounted for thirty-seven percent of the U.S. population in 2014. The Bureau projected that the minority groups would become the majority population by the year 2043. For this reason, professional nurses are required to show sensitivity in comprehending various cultures in the society. This will aid them to provide high-quality health care services to persons from different cultural societies. Moreover, according to the NCSBN survey conducted in 2013, nurses from the minority population represent only nineteen percent of the registered nurse workforce in the Unites States (HRSA, 2010) This further supports the need to train more culturally sensitive nurses in high education institutions. 

Comparison between the Traditional Nursing Curriculum and the Proposed Culturally Sensitive Nursing Curriculum

The traditional nursing curriculum is governed by a standardized code of teaching standards. For this reason, it is not focused on cultural sensitivity but instead objectivized to achieve the nursing students’ pass examination qualification. It means that learners strive hard to internalize the theoretical concepts of the nursing profession but fail to comprehend the secondary aspects such as handling social-culturally diverse patients. Consequently, a culturally sensitive nursing curriculum not only arms students with the fundamental concepts of nursing but also trains them on how to relate with others in a multicultural environment.

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The Knowledge That Nurses Ought to Acquire from a Multicultural Sensitive Nursing Curriculum

In a multicultural perspective, nurses should have specific knowledge pertaining specific needs, values, characteristics, customs, and differences in ideas of patients from varying racial and ethnic groups. An ideal guideline for the selected nursing curriculum should include the nursing knowledge concerning bio-cultural variations when assessing and making plans to offer care services to patients from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. A fit curriculum should also have the cultural views pertaining to childbirth, child rearing, and pregnancy. The knowledge should also arm students with the intellect of handling cultural variations regarding patient growth and development.

Furthermore, the multicultural sensitive nursing curriculum should assist nursing students in understanding transcultural pain management. It should also teach about cultural variations in diet, emotions, mental health, and social systems. In addition, it should also guide nursing students on how to address culturally relevant background information. Such information could pertain to various health conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases, hypertension, or long-term diseases that mandate changes in patterns of life. Ultimately, the multicultural sensitive nursing curriculum should arm nursing students with skills necessary to understand religious variations in relation to bereavement, dying, death, ethical issues, and organ transplants.

 Strategies to Resolve the Issue

The increased diversity in the American nursing institutions mandates nurses to possess a vast knowledge of the influences of cultures on people’s health. The principal strategy that can be used to solve the issue is to encompass subjects relating to multicultural societies in the nursing education curriculum. Today, nurses need to learn about different cultures’ movies, ethnic arts, creative writings, churches, music, and plays. Through these long-term cultural learning experiences, nursing educators, learners, and nurses can effectively overcome the misconceptions of patients from particular cultural groups in the society.  

The second approach that can be employed to solve this problem is to foster the nursing education curriculum directed towards nursing students’ self-development. In particular, this approach presupposes offering students quality education aimed at enabling learners to work with patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. As a result, it will offer nursing students a chance to have a better attitude towards themselves and other people from different cultural societies. In addition, such students would have the knowledge and skills to empower patients from diverse communities to develop a better attitude towards their health and worth.  

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In the third strategy, university administrators and nursing educators should re-examine the role of their schools’ faculties in promoting multicultural nursing educational curriculum (Hammerich, 2014). Past research has indicated that effective educators have a great impact on learners’ success. In most cases, exemplary teachers can form good connections with their students. Such teachers can have a strong influence on their nursing students’ perception of persons from multicultural backgrounds, races, or cultures. For this reason, teachers should also build a strong educational rapport with nursing students from different cultures and races. It can be greatly attained if teachers become culturally competent themselves. 

Conclusion

Nurse educators today face the challenge of implementing nursing education programs that value the diversity of nursing students and, at the same time, meet the goals of learning institutions. This essay has shown that by adopting the culturally sensitive nursing education curriculum, nurses will have an awareness, affirmation, and acceptance of cultural diversity. Three key strategies can be used to foster sensitive multicultural education in nursing education facilities. Educators can encompass subjects relating to multicultural societies in the nursing education curriculum. In addition, educators can foster the nursing education curriculum directed towards nursing students’ self-development. Finally, nursing educators should re-examine the role of their schools’ faculties in promoting multicultural nursing educational curriculum.

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