Undergraduate Honors Thesis Projects

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Paper

Degree Name

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology-BS


Health & Sport Sciences


Dr. Robert Braun

First Committee Member

Dr. Heidi Ballard

Second Committee Member

Dr. Jonathan DeCoster

Subject Categories

Medical Sciences | Public Health


Appropriate care across cultures can occur only when patient, family, and community expectations are aligned with provider knowledge, attitude, and behavior (Doorenbos et al, 2005). Because nurses treat patients from all types of backgrounds, a culturally competent approach should and must be used when educating and training future nurses. The purpose of this study is to assess various cultural competence components of senior nursing students at a small Midwestern University. In order to assess this sample population, two peer-reviewed surveys were chosen; the Quality and Culture Quiz and the Affective Racial Attitudes subscale from the Quick Discrimination Index. Three more questions were created to assess attitudes towards health disparities. Students presented excellent knowledge regarding communicating with an interpreter and general knowledge on different cultures around the world. They also showed fairly high scores regarding affective racial attitudes. The results were lacking however, when discussing unconscious bias and non-verbal communication. The students did not seem completely convinced that minorities receive poorer quality healthcare and that cultural competence were equally as important as clinical skills. The high scores obtained by the students are an indicator that they are being trained sufficiently regarding those specific components, the lower scores however indicate some components of cultural competence training are lacking within the program.