Transcultural Nursing

Nursing has a path for everyone interested in this profession. It is important to not only find the best educational route for earning your degree, but to determine which focus you want your nursing career to take. What is Transcultural Nursing? Transcultural nursing is nursing with a focus on care that is culturally sensitive. It focuses on differences in culture, beliefs, values, and religious practices, and how they affect a person’s approach to illness, healing, disease, and death. Transcultural nurses can work not just in foreign countries, but also right here in our own diverse cities, applying their knowledge to their local nursing position, and sometimes helping integrate their philosophies into nursing practices at clinics and hospitals.

All transcultural nurses must start out as registered nurses (RN). You have the option of earning a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), or an Associate Degree of Science in Nursing (ASN), or a nursing diploma from an accredited hospital program. The latter two will only require two to three years of training, and can later be transferred toward a bachelor’s degree should you choose that path. All registered nurses must pass their state’s board of nursing NCLEX-RN, which stands for Nursing Council Licensure Examination. Passing this exam, along with completing your degree, will you become a registered nurse, ready to practice.

Certification in transcultural nursing has only been available since 1987, and it is an exam that has recently been updated following developments in the field. Unlike earning your degree and license, certification in nursing specializations, such as transcultural nursing, are almost always voluntary. However, most employers deem it a necessity for hiring. Transcultural nursing certification demonstrates your commitment to mastery in transcultural nursing, and shows future patients and co-workers that your skills and knowledge are current and consistent with national standards. Advanced and basic transcultural nursing certification are both available through the Transcultural Nursing Society, but you will need a master’s degree or doctorate in nursing, philosophy, education or a related field and to be a working nurse in order to qualify for the advanced exam.

The Transcultural Nursing Society (TCNS) is the major professional organization for this nursing profession. Membership in the Transcultural Nursing Society is a great way to keep up with developments in the field, as well as with networking, employment, and continuing education opportunities. Be sure to also check out regional and local chapters as well, which can be found on the TCNS website. Nursing and healthcare are only becoming more and more specialized, so it is important to know your specialty well and be current.

The outlook for nursing in all specializations is quite promising. Despite economic downturns, healthcare is always a priority, and the healthcare sector continues to grow at a rapid pace, with nursing being one of the fastest growing professions, growing at a rate of 22% through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Due to large numbers of working nurses nearing retirement age, the growing demand for qualified nurses should continue according to the American Nursing Association. As our country continues to grow more diverse and integrate people of different religions, cultures, and races, transcultural nursing will only become more important. If this humanistic and culturally sensitive approach to nursing sounds appealing to you, find a nursing program best suited to you and your current education level and contact them to learn more. You can also contact us with any questions you may have.

You may also find the fields of Parish nursing, Missionary or Refugee nursing and the School nurse profession facinating fields to explore as well.

(Sources: Transcultural Nursing Society, BLS, Current Nursing - Transcultural Nursing, 6/27/2010)

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