Background information

In many European countries Trans-Cultural Nursing (TCN) is still in the embryonic stage and in many institutions it is even unheard of. Nevertheless mobility within Europe is on the increase for a number of reasons and for many individuals coming from developed and underdeveloped countries. For many migrants –especially those new to a country- health maintenance is not a primary concern, therefore once illness strikes they feel lost within a system that invariably does not prepare health professionals to effectively and sensitively care for them. It is not enough to say that health services are available unless they are able to take into account the social-cultural problems often faced by migrants and minority groups, and are easily accessible and equally provided to them.

Despite the focus placed on new migrants and more established ethnic groups, it is important to state that all human being are cultural beings. Therefore nurses – who themselves come from diverse cultural backgrounds – must be able to care for all people in culturally competent ways.

The European Transcultural Nursing Association (ETNA) is committed to promoting transculturally competent nursing for all people who live in Europe.