First Advisor

White, Nancy

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Date Created



The nursing profession is calling for enhanced diversity within the ranks of registered nurses to meet the health care needs of an increasingly diverse society. Nursing education is faced with the challenge of retaining ethnically diverse nursing students. Students who are ethnically diverse face unique challenges in addition to the universal stressors of nursing school. The experience of comfort as theorized by Kolcaba may provide ease, relief, and transcendence of the discomfort experienced by diverse nursing students. This ethnonursing research study utilizing Leininger's Culture Care Theory is an in-depth examination of the culture care meaning of comfort for ethnically diverse nursing students. A purposeful sample of seven key informants and 14 general informants was employed. The researcher used words, observational field notes, and artifact pictures and descriptions to understand the meanings and expressions of comfort in the educational setting. Patterns of comfort care, both universal and diverse, came to light and are conveyed in five themes: (a) the desire to be cared for as a distinct human being within the context of ethnic differences; (b) being ethnically diverse influences expressions of comfort; (c) identification with cultural practices and values promotes feelings of comfort, as well as discomfort; (d) family, social, and peer relationships affect expressions of comfort care; and (e) comfort care activities of ethnically diverse nursing students are represented by universal and diverse expressions. Suggestions for nurse educators for providing culturally congruent ways of facilitating comfort care by applying Leininger's action and decision modes are presented. The modes are relative to preserving, accommodating, and restructuring culture care patterns to enhance comfort for ethnically diverse nursing students with the goal of retaining them in nursing education programs.

Abstract Format



Nursing Student Stress; Nursing; Higher Education; Comfort Theory; Ethnically Diverse Nursing Students; Ethnonursing Research; Nursing Education


131 pages

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