The Madeleine Leininger Nursing Concept


Nursing is guided by numerous theories that guide professional practice. Such theories provide critical information on how nurses can handle the various situations they encounter daily. The different concepts are based on nursing practices that the theorists observed during their service to the general public. The theorists identified the loopholes that make nursing practice too hard to provide quality care to patients from different social, political, and economic backgrounds. Among the most significant contributors to nursing and nursing practices, Madeleine Leininger developed the transcultural nursing theory, which enables nurses to understand how cultural aspects influence the delivery of healthcare services.

Transcultural nursing theory

The theory was developed after Madeleine Leininger observed the lack of cultural and care knowledge during healthcare services. According to the theory, various activities like compliance, wellness, and healing require substantial support to make them smooth and successful. The theory is critical in the nursing profession. It develops culturally congruent nursing care addressed through cognitive-based assistive services, facilitative, supportive, and enabling decisions that are tailor-made to fit the cultural aspects of a patient, their values, lifeways, and values (Busher, 2015). Such values are different based on the conditions that the patients experience when seeking medical care.

The theory focuses on developing nursing care that fits the patient’s needs and devises mechanisms that enhance the nursing processes for individuals from different or similar cultural backgrounds. The nurses must recognize and appreciate the patients’ cultural background when seeking healthcare services through the theory. Such knowledge enables the nurses to consider the patient’s beliefs, values, and customs and develop mechanisms that enhance their level of satisfaction (Busher, 2015). The theory meets the definition of a nursing metaparadigm. It considers individual preferences and the environment through which care can be delivered through different maintenance levels, enhancing the quality of care delivered to the patients.

Theory in practice

Cultural competence is one of the critical aspects required in providing healthcare services in the United States. This aspect is based on the fact that the country comprises individuals from different cultural backgrounds, making it among the most culturally diverse populations. Studies on the cultural competence models in nursing indicate that culture is a critical factor in providing healthcare services, as aspects like race and ethnicity significantly impact the delivery of healthcare services. Sheng (2015) states that cultural competence models are critical in healthcare. They enable nurses to have a broader perspective of nursing practice, unlike theories focusing on a specific nursing aspect.

Over the years, it has been stated that there have been numerous cultural competence models developed to guide nursing practice. Cultural competence has been linked to aspects that enhance the quality of care. It enhanced the quality of care as it was interpreted as meaningful care since it fits with an individual’s beliefs and way of life (Sheng, 2015). In this case, cultural competence is a set of behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in an agency, system, and professionals, enabling them to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. Similar perceptions are also experienced in the provision of the mental healthcare system.

Healthcare professionals define the concept as a way of gaining information on individuals from different parts of the world on the traditional conceptions they maintain and how they perceive mental illness and modern medicine. Such knowledge is critical in healthcare delivery as it draws the line on where some medical practices converge or diverge (Coleman, 2019). This aspect is based on the fact that different cultures have different perceptions of health issues and treatment plans. Therefore, Lininger’s transcultural theory provides a concept that has been practiced over the years in the healthcare system and has enhanced the quality of care provided to patients from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Integrative nursing principles

Nurses with cultural competence can integrate other nursing principles to provide quality patient care. Communication is among the most critical principles that enhance nursing practice effectiveness. Cultural competent nurses apply active listening to ensure that they can learn the cultural aspects that influence the health and treatment process acceptable in the culture maintained by the individuals. Understanding each other enables the nurses to develop a treatment that meets the cultural and value expectations of the individual. Cultural competence is integrated with nursing principles to ensure that the quality of care is maintained by ensuring that the provision of care is in line with the professional standards of nursing. Cultural competence keeps the nurses informed on the culture and traditions of different groups of individuals, ensuring that they only apply the nursing principles in line with their culture.


Lininger’s transcultural theory is critical in nursing as it has significantly shaped the nursing practice. Through the theory, nurses can regulate their activities to ensure that their practice is in line with the cultures of their patients. The concept is essential in nursing as it emphasizes the nature of care that can be applied to a patient. The theory aims at attaining a patient-centered healthcare system where the patient’s culture is respected and healthcare plans are tailored to meet their needs.


Busher Betancourt, D. A. (2015). Madeleine Leininger and the transcultural theory of nursing. The Downtown Review, 2(1), 1.

Coleman, P. (2019). Cultural differences in general and psychiatric nurses: A critical analysis using Social Identity Theory. Aporia: The Nursing Journal, 10(2), 17-27. Web.

Shen, Z. (2015). Cultural competence models and cultural competence assessment instruments in nursing: A literature review. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 26(3), 308-321. Web.

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