Feature ArticleA Culturally Diverse Staff Population Challenges and Opportunities for NursesMattson, Susan PhD, RNC, CTN, FAANAuthor Information College of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix. Corresponding Author: Susan Mattson, PhD, RNC, CTN, FAAN, 8059 E Cortez Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 ([email protected]). Submitted for publication: November 26, 2008; Accepted for publication: May 18, 2009 The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: July 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 3 - p 258-262 doi: 10.1097/JPN.0b013e3181aedf19 Buy Metrics Abstract The United States is seeing an increase in ethnic and cultural diversity that is reflected (albeit to a smaller extent) in the nursing workforce. There are also more nurses who are foreign-born and educated. These nurses bring elements of their ethnic culture to the healthcare setting, including that of the “healthcare provider” culture of their home country. Often these values conflict with, or at least differ from, many American values seen in the workplace, such as autonomy of patients, an individualistic approach to relationships, peer relationships rather than hierarchical ones, democracy as an ideal norm, optimal health is ideal, and an emphasis on time/schedules and use of technology. A major cultural difference in the work setting has to do with the meaning of “work” itself, which can vary among cultural groups; in addition, some cultures are viewed as more “collective” in nature than the American ones, which are considered “individualistic.” In particular, foreign-born and educated nurses from different healthcare systems bring with them values of the political system in which they work, the concept of a socialized system of medicine, language and accent differences, different concepts of nursing duties, and varying psychosocial skills. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.