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Cultural Diversity in Nursing

African American Culture

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The African American population in the United States is estimated at 12.3 percent in the year 2000 (Kozier 207). In that same year only 4.9 percent of nurses were African American. The numbers are not congruent to match the nursing community with the national population. Nursing populations need to be as diverse as the community to better support the clients they represent. To give the best treatment to other cultures a culturally diverse workforce in nursing would help provide more comfortable care.

Healthcare given to African Americans requires the nurse to be knowledgeable of the prevalence they have to specific diseases along with culturally sensitive care. Many African Americans have been shown to be predisposed to certain illnesses. Preventive care towards these problems is important to catch these before they arrive. Illnesses such as Hypertension, CAD, stroke, end stage renal disease, dementia, and diabetes (Gordon). Prevention measures to keep these problems that are prevalent in older African Americans. It takes nursing interventions and education to teach healthy living standards for younger African Americans. The main causes of death for older African Americans are heart disease, cancer, stroke (Gordon). Again, preventive measure can be taken to reduce the number of heart attacks, stroke, and cancer through educating these patients. Problems with hypertension in African Americans living in the United States are getting worse (Kozier 178).

Religion plays an important part in the life and death of African Americans. Patients feel that they have a close relationship with a higher power (Branch 2006). African American spirituality is a strong coping mechanism that provides African American families with security.

Overcoming the biases and prejudices that have been associate with African Americans throughout history is part of the health care provider’s job to give the same equal care to everyone regardless of race, beliefs, or gender. African Americans are noted to being in a lower economic status in the United States due to little access to healthcare, reduced support systems, and risky behavioral choices (Medscape). Nurses need to give equal care to all clients and participate in the care plans to achieve goals. Healthcare needs to become accessible to all people seeking treatment regardless to race.

To effectively care for a patient it is important to know how the person’s ethnology along with the client’s personal beliefs will affect care (Kozier 220). Gaining a proper history and being sensitive to the patient’s needs is important for all nurses to develop a rapport and treat the patient to their wishes.


Kozier, Barbara, Erb, Glenora, Berman, Audrey, Snyder, Shirlee. (2004) Fundamentals of Nursing 7th edition Upper Saddle River, NJ, Pearson.
Gordon PhD, Sharon, Hargreaves PhD, Margaret, Lieto DO, Janet. ETHNOGERIATRIC CURRICULUM MODULE HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN ELDERS. Stanford. Retrieved March 12, 2007.
Branch Jr. MD, William T. Torke MD, Alexia Brown-Haithco, Robin C. Div (2006)
The Importance of Spirituality in African-Americans' End-of-Life Experience
Journal of General Internal Medicine 21 (11), 1203–1205.
Medscape. Overcoming Disparities in U.S. Health Care. Retrieved March 12, 2007

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