In alignment with the school’s mission of providing accessible nurse-midwifery and nurse practitioner education to prepare competent, entrepreneurial, ethical, and compassionate leaders in primary care to serve all individuals with an emphasis on women and families in diverse, rural, and underserved populations, Frontier Nursing University (FNU) is excited to offer its new course, “Introduction to Cultural Safety.”
As our country continues to face racism and discrimination, FNU remains committed to taking a stand for diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), and antiracism for marginalized populations. To meet this time of crisis, FNU is taking a systemic approach to thread DEI and anti-racism throughout the university. This course is only a small part of the work being done to actively expand institutional capacity for DEI and anti-racism work.
“The focus of the Introduction to Cultural Safety is on Native Americans, but the tenets can be applied to all populations,” Dr. Erin Tenney, the creator of the course, said. “In this course, we introduce the concept of cultural safety by centering on the Indigenous patient experience and learning to listen as the patient defines what safe care is.”
By the end of the Introduction to Cultural Safety, learners will be able to:
- Define cultural safety
- Identify the three key tenets of cultural safety
- Explain the impacts of colonization on Indigenous people in the U.S.
- Describe what culturally safe vs. culturally unsafe care may look like
- Discuss personal and systems change strategies for improving the cultural safety of care
Dr. Tenney leads the course with guest instructor Dorene Waubanewquay Day. Day is an accomplished educator, midwife, activist, singer, and artist who consults with and works within many Indigenous and other communities and organizations to help restore and design culturally safe practices. In 2020, she was selected as a Luce Indigenous Fellow.
In addition to being clinical faculty at FNU, Dr. Tenney is a certified nurse-midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner, Doulas of North America (DONA) International birth doula trainer, writer, and photographer who has worked within Indigenous health centers and communities throughout her nursing career of almost 20 years.
Dr. Tenney credits Day with being her teacher and mentor, “particularly about women’s health and traditional lifeways, birth and parenting, life, death, grief, healing and more.” Together, they have traveled to Native communities in the U.S. and Canada, providing birth and women’s health training. They also offer culturally-based doula and midwifery teachings, in addition to cultural safety training for health providers in the U.S.
Those interested in the Introduction to Cultural Safety can enroll in the course at https://ceu.catalog.instructure.com/courses/introduction2cultural-safety.
This activity is approved for 3.0 contact hour(s) of continuing education by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Activity ID# 21034781. This activity was planned in accordance with AANP Accreditation Standards and Policies
This course and the many other diversity programs at the core of FNU have been essential as Frontier works to ensure sustainability, growth, and equitable services for our students, faculty, and staff. Even more importantly, this sort of work is essential in order for the university to truly fulfill its mission, achieve the goal of a diverse nursing and midwifery workforce, and improve health outcomes, especially for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). Although we have made notable progress, it is imperative that our DEI and anti-racism work continue to evolve and persist in order for us to serve our communities successfully.
To find out more about FNU’s efforts to increase diversity and improve cultural knowledge, visit our Diversity Impact Program page. FNU’s Diversity Impact Program has been active for over ten years. The program was designed to promote an inclusive learning and workforce environment at FNU, with the goal of increasing diversity in the nursing and midwifery professions by recruiting and retaining underrepresented students and employees.
Editor’s Note: This program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $2,065,200. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.