Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Michele . Clark

Second Committee Member

Michael . Johnson

Third Committee Member

Jennifer . Kawi

Fourth Committee Member

Carolee . Dodge-Francis

Number of Pages



Cultural immersion has been identified as a preferred method of teaching cultural competence in undergraduate nursing education. Multiple qualitative and quantitative studies have shown that baccalaureate nursing students enjoy international learning experiences and, based on self-efficacy evaluations, feel they have increased cultural competency following immersion experiences. However, there is little evidence to indicate concepts learned during undergraduate cultural competency course work is retained or integrated into nursing practice after leaving the milieu of academia.

To inform future cultural competency educational efforts, I conducted a qualitative phenomenological study to provide a baseline of evidence regarding the impact of a cultural immersion experience to the Navajo Nation during baccalaureate nursing education. Following Institutional Review Board approval, information was gathered from 13 semi-structured interviews of registered nurses who have been in practice for one to three years. The interviews were transcribed and data analysis completed using both inductive and deductive coding and content analysis processes to interpret findings and develop a narrative of participants’ experiences.

The five themes that emerged from the interviews indicate that participants had gained cultural competency skills which they attributed to learning during their cultural immersion experience to the Navajo Nation as an undergraduate nursing student. Further, they were able to give evidence of specific ways in which they implement those skills in their current practice as a registered nurse. The results of this study provide direction for additional research and inform nursing educators’ efforts to produce a culturally competent workforce to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population in the United States.


Cultural competence; Cultural humility; Cultural immersion; Nursing education


Education | Nursing

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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