Evaluating Cultural Competence in Undergraduate Nursing Students Using Standardized Patients

Author: Deborah Byrne, PhD, RN, CNE
Submitted by: Marsha Harman, Rush University

The need for culturally competent health-care providers is essential in reducing health disparities and ensuring positive patient outcomes. The use of simulation with standardized patients (SPs) is an effective strategy that could be integrated throughout undergraduate nursing curricula to evaluate a student’s cultural competence.

This article outlines a study designed to describe the baseline level of self-reported cultural competence of undergraduate nursing students and compare between groups learning this material with lecture only and those learning with lecture and simulation with culturally diverse standardized patients. A mixed method and design was used for this study. There was a statistically significant increase in the level of cultural competence in both groups who participated in the study. Analysis of participants’ response to the simulation revealed broad themes, including participants initially feeling nervous then comfortable during the simulation and finding the simulation extremely valuable. This research suggests that the use of standardized patients is an effective teaching strategy in nursing education particularly as a supplement to traditional lecture.

Read the full article in Teaching and Learning in Nursing here

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