Black Nurses and Cultural Competence in Nursing

When one speaks of “cultural competency,” they often refer to a person or group’s ability to work with different cultures. This can mean being aware and understanding of other cultures, as well as having empathy towards them. It’s crucial in this day and age where people live worldwide that we have cultural competence, so we don’t offend anyone when communicating with someone who has another culture from ours.

Cultural competency is about recognizing one’s own biases and prejudices, and cultural differences to effectively work with these diverse populations. 

In the United States, Black Nurses are often under-represented in many aspects of nursing. Cultural competence is an important aspect of nursing because it recognizes and understands different cultures’ beliefs and values. This article discusses cultural competence concerning black nurses and how they can be better represented as caregivers in hospitals across America.


The number one issue with increasing diversity among nurses is that there aren’t enough people from diverse backgrounds coming into the profession, for various reasons: lack of mentorship, discrimination, or other factors making them feel unwelcome.

Black Nurses are highly skilled professionals who work hard to care for all patients. They have the power and knowledge that is necessary to provide excellent healthcare. Still, it would be a disservice to their black clients and other people of color if they were unable or unwilling to perform as expected. The reason is that when ill-knowledgeable providers see an African American patient with chest pain, they often assume heart attack instead of exploring potential causes such as anxiety.

Black Nurses don’t just take care of themselves by providing medical treatment – they go above and beyond what’s expected from them! Black Nurses are important because there isn’t enough diversity within the nursing field, which means some doctors may lack sensitivity towards their clients’ needs. In contrast, others may disregard cultural competence entirely.


The Black Nurse’s Perspective

A black nurse provides a unique perspective in the field of nursing. This is because they have different cultural values, beliefs, and norms than their white counterparts, which are invaluable for providing culturally competent care. 

They’re uniquely qualified with experience that will never match what any other group can offer when it comes down to empathy or understanding certain situations due solely to being used as an example during segregation in this country so long ago. We need more diversity on staff at all levels if we want our patient’s and society’s views about health professionals to change worldwide but especially within America. 

Much progress still needs to be made among African Americans who represent 13% of nurses, according to the 2016 U.S. census data.


Kim Hen - Women Leaders Association


American Organization of Nursing Leadership

Advocacy and Service

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