Nursing today is not just placing a bandage on a wound and telling a patient to keep it clean.The art of nursing is complex.Nurses not only work with patients but also in conjunction with their families, physicians, community, and ancillary personnel to help care for and improve their health.

A key segment of nursing is utilizing nursing theories and conceptual models.When a nurse understands a nursing theory, it strengthens the focus of care by guiding nursing practice (Grand Canyon University, 2018).According to Grand Canyon University (2018), a theory is defined by a collection of statements that explain a relationship between two or more ideas.Improving nursing practice is the ultimately the goal of applying a nursing theory (Grand Canyon University, 2018).A conceptual model is a way of explaining a particular way of thinking of how a theory fits together (Grand Canyon University, 2018).There are different types of theories and how they are utilized in nursing practice.Organizing the theories into the different types is the structure of a conceptual model.

Madeleine Leininger’s cultural care theory is important for nurses to understand.The idea that as nurses we not only care for the patient but also the family and community is a significant part of this theory.It is defined, “as the focus on the analysis of different cultures to better understand their ideas of health, their behaviors, and their thoughts” (Grand Canyon University, 2018). A patient’s culture plays a significant role in how they perceive nurses, hospitals, and the health care system itself.“Native Americans are at a greater risk than whites for poorer overall physical and mental health” (Roh et al., 2015, p. 970).Historically, native Americans have experienced great loss in regards to their people, land and culture by the dominant European culture (Roh, et al., 2015).A patient that presents with mental health issues may have a problem discussing feelings of depression or anxiety with anyone outside of their culture.This is vital for nurses to understand. Nurses need to be aware of significant cultural aspects that can affect a patient’s overall health and treatment.Applying Leininger’s cultural care theory in the nursing process will help ensure a treatment plan that will improve the possibility of a positive patient outcome.

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