ESSAY: Cultural Competence Versus Humility

Explain the difference between cultural competence and humility. Give a specific example of how this is seen in your current position or how you would implement this in the nurse educator role.


Difference between Cultural Sensitivity and Cultural Humility

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Cultural humility and competence concepts have been in existence for a long time now. Cultural humility was first defined in 1998 by Tervalon and Murray-Garcia while teaching physicians. In the nursing context, cultural humility defined as a continuous process of not just self-awareness and reflection, but also self-critique of all healthcare providers with a view of promoting mutual respect with families and the general community. On the other hand, cultural competence entails focusing on the mastery of many other …

Whereas cultural humility is meant to promote proper relationships with others in the community, in most instances, nursing competence is for educational purposes or meant to promote quality healthcare delivery in the medical field. Furthermore, the realization of cultural humility can be explained as an ongoing active process as it involves developing proper relationships with community members. On the contrary, cultural competency is not a process but rather a set of perspectives, behaviors, and policies which have been established and hence has to be followed to advocate for positive as well as effective interactions with many other cultures (Foronda, Baptiste, Reinholdt & Ousman, 2016). Whereas cultural competence can be equated to knowledge, cultural humility is …

Specific Example of How It Is Seen in The Current Position

Cultural humility and cultural competence are both applicable in my current position as a nurse educator. The two can be witnessed in classroom interactions as well as clinical settings both with students, the clinical staff as well as patients coming from different cultures. The two phenomena can also be implemented by coming up with lessons which are meant to meet the needs of a culturally sensitive learner. As a nurse educator, it will be important to come up with a standard of practice that is sensitive to both cultural humility and …


Fisher-Borne, M., Cain, J. M., & Martin, S. L. (2015). From mastery to accountability: Cultural humility as an alternative to cultural competence. Social Work Education34(2), 165-181.

Foronda, C., Baptiste, D. L., Reinholdt, M. M., & Ousman, K. (2016). Cultural humility: A concept analysis. Journal of Transcultural Nursing27(3), 210-217.

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