Date of Award

Fall 12-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Committee Chair

Dr. Bonnie Harbaugh

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Dr. Michong Rayborn

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Dr. John Nagelhout

Committee Member 3 Department



Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are the main anesthesia providers in over 70% of rural hospitals providing anesthesia. Each year, over 2,000 student registered nurse anesthetists (SRNAs) graduate and continue as licensed CRNAs. This Doctor of Nurse Practice (DNP) project emphasizes the importance of developing culturally competent providers in anesthesia by promoting early outreach in cultural competence education of SRNAs. Cultural competence is described as possessing characteristics of congruent attitudes, awareness, and conduct that provides and enables effective skills in cross-cultural encounters. Encompassing cultural competency education early in the SRNAs profession may provide valuable lifelong cultural skills that will benefit the provision of culturally competent care to growing diverse populations.

For this DNP project, SRNAs were presented with the opportunity to develop cultural competency in anesthesia with cultural competency education which consisted of four modules. The goal of this DNP project was to increase cultural awareness, sensitivity, and enhance culturally competent communication skills in SRNAs progressing through clinical education. There were 20 participants who were SRNAs in the first year of clinical rotation. After the four modules were presented the participants were given a post-evaluation survey to complete. After the cultural competency education, the participants were allowed 6-weeks before a descriptive qualitative survey was administered to evaluate if the cultural competency education influenced cultural awareness and sensitivity in clinical setting.

The total average for the overall scores for the sample of 20 participants was 23.65, which indicated that cultural competency education was successful after the educational intervention to the SRNAs. Six weeks after the cultural competency education was provided, SRNAs were given a 6-Week Qualitative evaluation that emphasized a notice in an increase in cultural awareness, sensitivity, and ability to recognize different cultural needs among patients of different cultural backgrounds. There was a 75% notice in clinical practice change since the educational intervention was provided, and 25% did not notice a change in practice due to no cultural encounters after the educational intervention. Overall, there was 100% in agreement that the educational intervention made a difference and will be useful in practice for the SRNAs and future practice beyond graduation.