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The Need for Cultural Inclusivity in Global Palliative Nursing

Caring for Selected Underserved Populations in the United States

Mazanec, Polly PhD, RN, ACHPN, FPCN, FAAN; Verga, Sarah DO; Foley, Helen MSN, AOCNS, ACHPN; Mehta, Ambereen K. MD, MPH

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: December 2019 - Volume 21 - Issue 6 - p E1–E8
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000575
Online-Only Article

It is estimated that 11.1 million people in the United States are living with serious illness, and most people with serious illness need palliative care. Quality palliative care incorporates culturally sensitive care, and with the increasing diversity in the United States, it has become even more critical that nurses and health care professionals be prepared to meet the unique needs of those living within the diverse and underserved populations of this country. Advocating for access to palliative care for the seriously ill, culturally respectful care at the end of life, and honoring values, practices, and beliefs are essential roles of the nurse. This article presents 4 examples of individuals from diverse and potentially vulnerable US populations who face unique challenges as they deal with their life-limiting diseases and face end of life.

Polly Mazanec, PhD, RN, ACHPN, FPCN, FAAN, is research associate professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Cleveland, Ohio.

Sarah Verga, DO, is palliative care fellow, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville.

Helen Foley, MSN, AOCNS, ACHPN, is advanced practice registered nurse, University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, Cleveland, Ohio.

Ambereen K. Mehta, MD, MPH, is assistant professor, Palliative Care Program, UCLA, Los Angeles, California.

Address correspondence to Polly Mazanec, PhD, RN, ACHPN, FPCN, FAAN, 1563 Watt Pond Rd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29466 (

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Online date: April 19, 2019

© 2019 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.