Cross-Cultural Adaptability and Related Factors of Nursing Students
Author(s): Senol Dane*
Background: Turkey has a multicultural social structure and nurses provide care for the population of different cultural characteristics. Examining the factors affecting cross-cultural adaptation in nursing education may contribute to increasing the quality of nursing education and raising nurses who provide safer and more effective nursing care. Although the nursing profession's attention directed toward issues of cultural diversity, cultural adaptation in nursing education has not been adequately studied. Purpose: This research aims to determine the level of cross-cultural adaptability and related factors of nursing students. Methods: In the study, cultural adaptation inventory (CCAI) developed by Kelley and Meyers was applied to the 261 nursing students from two universities; a state university and a private university in Ankara. Additionally, the study aims at determining the students’ adaptation levels to foreign cultures and revealing whether these levels are affected by their foreign language level and demographic variants. The data were analyzed using SPSS 2.5 for Microsoft Windows. While analyzing the inventory, descriptive statistical analysis (mean and standard deviation) was used in addition to the factor analysis. Results: It was observed that the higher the year of study the nursing students are in, the higher their scores in the Personal Autonomy dimension become (F=3.67; p<0.01). When the students go abroad more frequently, their scores get higher in the openness dimension (F=5.37; p<0.01). The longer the students stay abroad, the more their scores in sentimental flexibility and receptive sensitivity increase. The results showed that the difference was between the students who speak a foreign language in the advanced level (X=43.4) and the others who speak a foreign language in the elementary level (X=40.8). That is, the higher the level of their foreign language reaches, the higher the students’ scores in the openness dimension. Conclusions/Implications for practice: To develop cultural adaptation, health care experts’ experiences in various cultural environments are extremely important since these experts, such as nurses, get to serve people from different cultures. For that reason, the number of nursing students who take opportunities like the Erasmus Exchange Program or other international programs should be increased. Measurement of Cross-Cultural adaptation of the nursing personnel is a crucial factor contributing to enhanced care. Also, CCAI can be used to assess the nurses who will give health care services in different cultures.