Cultural Competency and Safety in Nursing Education: A Case Study


  • Vicki Zeran University College of the North, Manitoba


Indigenous nursing students, nursing education, cultural safety


The multicultural nature of Canada’s population continues to evolve with the growing number of culturally diverse groups within Canadian society. Despite efforts to improve the health of Canadians from all cultural backgrounds, it is well-established that health disparities are still continuing particularly for Indigenous and diverse cultural populations. One reason underlying such disparities is the lack of multicultural representation in the nursing profession. Recruiting, retaining, and graduating culturally diverse students from nursing programs will help to foster proportionate cultural representation in the nursing profession. As the profession attracts students from a variety of multicultural backgrounds with complex learning needs, it is important that the educational experience is situated in a culturally competent and safe learning environment. A learning environment that embraces positive faculty–student interactions in which there is a caring, sensitive, and committed attitude serves as an incentive for student success. It is recognized that the values, beliefs, and attitudes of educators, regardless of whether they are professors, clinical instructors, or preceptors is paramount to the promotion of student learning. Given the increasing necessity for nursing education for Indigenous people, this article offers a case study of how the nursing program at University College of the North, in northern Manitoba, provides a culturally competent and safe learning experience for Indigenous students. If nurses, educators, and other health care providers act in culturally and socially competent ways, the nursing workforce may become more diverse, health disparities may be altered, and the mandate to reduce and ultimately eliminate disparities may be realized. This report is part of a special collection from members of the University of the Arctic Thematic Network on Northern Nursing Education. The collection explores models of decentralized and distributed university-level nursing education across the Circumpolar North.






Nursing Education in the Circumpolar North