Objectives: To define key concepts and summarize available guidelines that are important resources to assist nurses to provide culturally competent care. Data Sources: Medline, anthropologic and epidemiologic literature, and National Institutes of Health documents. CONCLUSIONS: Controversy remains about the most appropriate language to use to describe features of diverse populations. Implications For Nursing Practice: Becoming culturally competent begins by understanding terms and concepts that are essential in developing cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills. Sensitivity to language and the history of the development of some labels are important.
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