Press Release

Minister Callely opens Transcultural Nursing Practice in the 21st Century Conference

The Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Mr Ivor Callely, TD, today (11 June 2003) officially open the conference on “Transcultural Nursing Practice in the 21st Century” at Citywest Hotel, Saggart, Co. Dublin. The conference hosted by An Bord Altranais, will examine the concepts of transcultural nursing and issues for regulation and practice in Ireland. Transcultural nursing focuses on understanding the cultural beliefs, values and lifestyles of people and providing care that fits with those beliefs, values and lifestyles.

“The relevance and importance of transcultural nursing in Ireland has only recently been realised, partly due to the increased numbers of people seeking refuge and asylum in Ireland but largely due to the recruitment of overseas workers who have contributed enormously to our economic prosperity and growth”, stated the Minister.

The Minister informed the conference that the work on the New Nurses Bill, which will amend the Nurses Act of 1985, is progressing steadily. The amendments arose partly from recommendations of the Commission on Nursing and also partly because of the need to address some professional issues. These include, revision of the regulation of the profession and the protection of the public, revision of fitness to practice, revision of registration procedures and provision for the expansion of the scope of nursing and midwifery practice. It is planned to bring proposals to government later in the year.

The Minister urged nurses, midwives and all health professionals to go beyond treating the emotional and physical symptoms or disease and stated that “to neglect cultural factors such as a personĀ“s religion, family ties, nationality, economic status, political beliefs or educational background can lead to sub-optimal outcomes”.

He wished the conference well in its deliberations and exploration of transcultural nursing, a holistic and culturally congruent approach to care.