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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Nurse educators’ perspectives of teaching culturally diverse nursing students Pastirik, Pamela Jacqueline


Changing demographics in Canadian society are creating an increasingly culturally diverse population. Paralleling these changes is increasing cultural diversity in educational institutions. Educators are challenged with providing education that is culturally sensitive to an increasingly culturally diverse nursing student (CDNS) population. In nursing education and allied health literature insights are given regarding the needs and perspectives of CDNSs, the approaches and strategies to teaching CDNSs and the challenges perceived by educators. In nursing education, there is a dearth of research related to the perspectives of nurse educators regarding teaching CDNSs. The purpose of this study was to explore nurse educators' perspectives of teaching CDNSs. The framework of symbolic interactionism was used as a broad guide to understanding the definitions, strategies and contextual factors related to teaching CDNSs. A generic qualitative design was used to explore these broad theoretical concepts. Seven nurse educators currently teaching in baccalaureate nursing programs were interviewed. Data analysis using the constant comparative method was implemented. Validation regarding the conceptual categories was confirmed through second interviews with the participants. The findings of the study revealed three major categories: 1) Conceptions of Culturally Diverse Nursing Students 2) Challenges to Teaching CDNSs 3) Dealing with Diversity. Teachers generally believed that CDNSs had unique cultural backgrounds, behaviors and beliefs and learning needs that could be uniquely delineated. They believed that language and communication, lack of knowledge and understanding of cultural diversity, lack of resources for teachers and students and a milieu that fostered a pressure to treat students the same, were significant challenges to teaching CDNSs. Approaches to dealing with diversity were identified as examining one's own beliefs and values, considering the influence of culture on the student's performance, and monitoring one's teaching practices. The most significant findings in the study related to the teachers' perceived lack of knowledge, skills and awareness to address the learning needs of CDNSs. The needs of CDNSs, the approaches to teaching CDNSs and the challenges to developing intercultural competency are highlighted.

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