How to discuss the Purnell Model for Cultural Competence and its relevance for advanced practice nurse

How to discuss the Purnell Model for Cultural Competence and its relevance for advanced practice nurse

  1. Introduction: Conceptual models and nursing theories play a significant role in practice and research. They are designed and structured to explain phenomena and support evidence-based nursing practice (Purnell, 2022). This paper’s purpose is to discuss the Purnell model for cultural competence and its relevance for advanced practice nurses. Also, it will describe the importance of effective communication that promotes cultural competency.

Purnell Model for Cultural Competence

Purnell’s model for cultural competence was developed by professor Larry Purnell in 1991 while interacting with his students. He discovered that nurses should know their patients’ beliefs and cultures and developed a valuable model for organizing the framework (Purnell, 2022). Additionally, Purnell created a range of questions to be referred to when evaluating patients’ cultures.

The founder of the model believed that his model could help professionals to develop cultural competence and adjust to various scenarios hence providing care consistent with the patient’s beliefs and culture (Purnell, 2022). His model is depicted in rings: community, society, family, and person. The person entails 12 cultural domains that must be considered when attending to the patients and their families; workforce issues, nutrition, healthcare practices, pregnancy and childbearing practices, communication, biocultural ecology, organization and family roles, high-risk behaviors, heritage, and spirituality.

Relevance of the Purnell Model to advance nursing

Advance nursing advocates for patient-centered care to improve the quality of healthcare services and patient outcomes. Cultural competency is one of the elements when providing patient-centered care. Purnell’s model enables nurses to inquire more about different patient cultural domains, which helps manage clinical dilemmas and minimize conflicts (Purnell, 2022). Also, the domain allows nurses to communicate efficiently and effectively to the patients, so they don’t feel abused.

The importance of effective communication that promotes cultural competence

Effective communication through increasing awareness and education significantly improves cultural competence in healthcare settings. Improving cultural competence among healthcare providers requires them to identify their beliefs and build their cultural awareness, giving them a foundation to improve their cross-cultural awareness (Handtke, Schilgen & Mösko, 2019). Healthcare professionals are more open to foreign attitudes, beliefs, practices, or actions when they practice cross-cultural awareness. Notably, cross-cultural awareness improves patient collaboration and helps them respond flexibly to healthcare professionals. Additionally, studies indicate that cross-cultural awareness improves patient attendance and adherence to treatment raiment (Handtke et al., 2019).

Also, effective communication that traverses communication barriers in healthcare, including race, culture, and language, increases accessibility resulting in improved cultural competence. Cultural competence in healthcare environments requires accessibility. The communication barriers mentioned above can hinder patients from receiving quality health care. Addressing these barriers through specific strategies ensures increased accessibility of health care to all patient populations (Handtke et al., 2019). these strategies include building knowledge about the local community, which puts healthcare professionals in a better position to satisfy patient needs (Handtke et al., 2019). Another strategy is recruiting and retaining diverse staff members that reflect the patient population receiving services from that hospital, thus ensuring the delivery of culturally competent health care services (Handtke et al., 2019). Also, patients tend to feel more comfortable and open when they meet team members who look like them, speak their language and come from a similar cultural background.


Handtke, O., Schilgen, B., & Mösko, M. (2019). Culturally competent healthcare–A scoping review of strategies implemented in healthcare organizations and a model of culturally competent healthcare provision. PloS one14(7), e0219971.

Purnell, L. (2022). Retrieved 28 June 2022, from’ S%20MODEL.pdf.

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