Influencing Factors of Cultural Competence Among South Korean Clinical Nurses

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Yunhee Park, PhD
Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, Wonkwank University, Iksan, Korea, Republic of (South)
Duckhee Chae, PhD, RN
College of Nursing, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Korea, Republic of (South)


As Korean society has rapidly become multicultural in the last few decades, health professionals and healthcare organization are needed to deliver care to culturally and linguistically diverse population groups. This study was to investigate individual and organizational levels of predictors associated with cultural competence among Korean clinical nurses.


This cross-sectional study included 401 clinical nurses from 21 hospitals in South Korea. Multilevel modeling was used to estimate effects of predictors at the individual and the organizational level. Individual-level variables included sociodemographic factors (age, gender, education, experience of staying abroad, foreign language speaking, and cultural competence training), job related factors (career length, job position, clinical unit, and caring experience of foreign patients), and professionalism. Organizational-level variables included the number of hospital beds, work environment, and organizational cultural competence. The data were analyzed with STATA software version 13.0 using multilevel analysis.


Most participants were female (97.5%) and the mean age was 31.16 (SD=7.54) years. While majority (88.8%) had experience of caring foreign patients, only few participants (7.3%) received education for caring foreign patients. Mean number of hospital beds was 467.67 (SD=291.16). Multilevel regression analysis showed that professionalism (p<.001) and previous experience of staying abroad (p=.001) were significant factors at the individual level. When organizational-level variables were added as predictors, organizational cultural competence (p<.001) was significant while the significance of professionalism (p<.001) and previous experience of staying abroad (p=.001) were maintained. And the estimated interclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was 11.13% of the total variance in cultural competence of nurses.


By application of multilevel modeling, this study sought to identify individual and organizational level factors associated with cultural competence among Korean nurses. The results of this study indicate that differences in nurses’ cultural competence were related to individual and organizational factors. In order to provide effective nursing care to culturally and linguistically diverse patients, efforts should be made to improve not only individual competence but also organizational cultural competence.