The Nursing Process in the Delivery of Culturally Competent Care


One of the main challenges experienced in the global health care sector in the 21st Century is the delivery of quality care in a highly diverse society. Practitioners have a greater challenge with regard to the application of the nursing process in a bid to bridge the gap of health care disparities across various cultural groups (Starr, 2011). According to health care experts, there is an urgent need to develop effective care programs that will help in making better treatment choices for the contemporary society characterized by high cultural diversity. One of the effective strategies that can be used to address this challenge is ensuring better delivery of culturally competent care (Rogers, 2013). Research has established that culturally competent care is one of the pillars that can be used to effectively support programs geared towards delivering quality care to priority populations. Cultural competency is one of the most valuable qualifications that nurses working in the contemporary healthcare sector ought to have in order to deliver (Starr, 2011). One of the cultural groups that have special health care needs is gay and lesbians. Studies have established that most Americans that belong to this cultural group often experience difficulties accessing health care services because they face a lot of discrimination, especially by healthcare practitioners (Anderson, 2014).


The nursing process is very important with regard to promoting cultural sensitivity and awareness in the delivery of health care services to priority populations such as gays and lesbians. One of the most important elements of the process that ought to be considered is developing good communication between nurses and the patients. Communication is very important because it helps practitioners in developing a clear understanding various factors that influence a patient’s values with regard to medication (Rogers, 2013). One such factor that influences various value systems with regard to medicine is the sexual orientation of a patient. Gays and lesbians often receive inadequate health care services due to lack of knowledge about their beliefs and practices among nurses. Therefore, good communication can help in delivering culturally competent care to gays and lesbians across the world (Starr, 2011).

The nursing process can help gays and lesbians in accessing quality healthcare by learning their value system in order to reduce the level of stigmatization. Research has established that one of the challenges people belonging to this cultural group experience when they visit healthcare facilities is the general assumption that everyone is heterosexual (Anderson, 2014). Most of these people are highly sensitive towards their needs, especially in situations where other people demonstrate ignorance. A good example is when lesbians visit gynecologists for their regular checkups. Most of the intake forms never ask the patient to specify their sexuality, an element that can be disturbing to a lesbian if a practitioner asks about the birth control method they use. A lesbian does not need to use birth control, thus such questions can be annoying and embarrassing to a patient who feels that she ought to be understood (Rogers, 2013). In such a situation, nurses can apply a number of culturally sensitive approaches in a bid to avoid any form of stigmatization.

First, nurses should ensure that intake forms, recognize all kinds of patients with regard to their sexual orientation. For example, the forms can ask a patient who is sexually active to specify whether their partner is male or female. This makes it easier for gays and lesbians to receive quality care because their sexuality and sexual history are taken into consideration (Anderson, 2014). Secondly, culturally competent nurses should make an effort to assure their patients about the confidentiality of the information they share with them regarding their sexual behaviors and history. Research has established that most gays and lesbians shy away from visiting practitioners because they fear their private lives will be exposed to others (Starr, 2011). This is very common in societies or organizations where the culture of one being gay or lesbian is yet to be fully embraced by people. The nursing process should focus on developing approaches aimed at improving the cultural competency of practitioners, especially when it comes to dealing with patients from priority populations (Rogers, 2013). There are numerous stereotypes that people have developed about gays and lesbians, which make it hard for nurses to deliver quality care. Research has established that high levels of cultural insensitivity among nurses often discourage gays and lesbians from seeking health care services (Rogers, 2013).

Homophobic health care practitioners are a huge challenge to the delivery of culturally competent care to gays and lesbians in the United States of America. Healthcare experts argue that past negative experiences with practitioners often make gay and lesbian patients to shy away from seeking health services. Most of these patients endure such experiences under the care of homophobic nurses who are often prejudiced against people in same-sex relationships (Rogers, 2013). Another common challenge faced by patients in this cultural group is the inability to get health insurance. This challenge was triggered by the fact that for a very long time, the federal government did not recognize couples in same-sex marriages through the constitution. This makes it very hard for such couples to have medical cover due to discrimination and lack of recognition (Anderson, 2014). The disparities witnessed with regard to poor access to health cover are also brought about by lack of income and cultural insensitivity.

Nurses have a responsibility to ensure that they reorient the health care delivery system in a manner to ensure that there are enough health cover options to cater for patients from different cultures. Research has established that people in same-sex relationships have the highest prevalence of challenges such as drug abuse, mental related illnesses, HIV/AIDS, and numerous physical experiences (Starr, 2011). The nursing process should build the concept of cultural sensitivity in the delivery of healthcare to patients in same-sex relationships by incorporating crucial programs such as Medicaid. This state-funded program focuses on providing health care for the needy people across the United States (Anderson, 2014).

The nursing process can help in ensuring the delivery of culturally competent care to patients in same-sex relationships by incorporating the concept of sexual orientation in nursing curriculum (Anderson, 2014). This will help the nurses to acquire more information about this cultural group, as well as their healthcare needs. Research has established that culturally competent health care plays a crucial role in helping patients in same-sex relationships from dealing with health risks such as depression, suicide, substance misuse, and homophobic related attacks (Starr, 2011). Gays and lesbians are very vulnerable to these risks because they are mostly afraid of identifying with their sexual orientation. People in same-sex relationships face a lot of stigmatization to the extent of considering suicide and finding solace in drugs. Those that do not take up these options often end up depressed due to the huge pressure of dealing with homophobic people (Rogers, 2013). All these challenges contribute a lot to the inability of gays and lesbians to have access to quality health care.


Effective delivery of health care services in the contemporary world requires nurses to have the ability to recognize and appreciate the value systems of various cultural groups. Someone’s believe system has a lot of influence on their attitude towards medication and other elements related to health care. Culturally competent nursing entails a good understanding of various priority groups in every population depending on their health care needs. People in same-sex relations have their own unique health care needs that practitioners ought to learn about and take into consideration at all times. Nurses have an ethical obligation to promote the delivery of culturally competent care to patients in same-sex relationships.


Anderson, L. (2014). Cultural Competence in the Nursing Practice. Web.

Rogers, R. (2013). Competencies for Advanced Nursing Practice. New York: CRC Press.

Starr, S. S. (2011). Dimensions of Cultural Competence: Nurse-Client Perspectives. California: Cengage Learning.

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NursingBird. 2022. "The Nursing Process in the Delivery of Culturally Competent Care." June 30, 2022.

1. NursingBird. "The Nursing Process in the Delivery of Culturally Competent Care." June 30, 2022.


NursingBird. "The Nursing Process in the Delivery of Culturally Competent Care." June 30, 2022.