Society is composed of widely diverse groups of people. The groups include, but are not limited to, people with different racial, ethnic, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientation, gender, age, and geographical areas.
Culture refers to the acquired knowledge individuals use to interpret life's experiences and to generate social behavior. Nursing professionals need to seek to know and understand the values, beliefs, and daily living patterns of a variety of cultures. Because of the relationship between diversity, culture and health care, it is important to identify factors that influence how individuals, families, groups, and communities experience and ascribe meanings to health and illness.
Nursing faculty are challenged to help students recognize personal values and biases to broaden students' perspectives of diversity and to help students develop cultural sensitivity.
Students learn basic culture concepts and begin to identify cultural differences in knowledge and belief, daily living, and health practices. They recognize that diversity impacts a client’s experiences with health care. Students integrate knowledge of diversity/culture into nursing practice. They also recognize the interactions between one's own culture and the culture of the client.