Leininger’s theory is to provide care measures that are in harmony with an individual or group’s cultural beliefs, practices, and values. In the 1960’s she coined the term culturally congruent care, which is the primary goal of transcultural nursing practice. Culturally congruent care is possible when the following occurs within the nurse-client relationship (Leininger, 1981): Together the nurse and the client creatively design a new or different care lifestyle for the health or well-being of the client. This mode requires the use of both generic and professional knowledge and ways to fit such diverse ideas into nursing care actions and goals. Care knowledge and skill are often repatterned for the best interest of the clients…Thus all care modalities require coparticipation of the nurse and clients (consumers) working together to identify, plan, implement, and evaluate each caring mode for culturally congruent nursing care. These modes can stimulate nurses to design nursing actions and decisions using new knowledge and culturally based ways to provide meaningful and satisfying wholistic care to individuals, groups or institutions (Leininger, 1991, p. 44).
Leininger developed new terms for the basic tenets of her theory. These definitions and the tenets are important to understand. Understanding such key terms is crucial to understanding the theory. Below is a basic summary of the tenets that are essential to understand with Leininger’s theory (summarized from Leininger, 2001, pp. 46–47):
• Care is to assist others with real or anticipated needs in an effort to improve a human condition of concern or to face death.
• Caring is an action or activity directed towards providing care. • Culture refers to learned, shared, and transmitted values, beliefs, norms, and lifeways of a specific individual or group that guide their thinking, decisions, actions, and patterned ways of living.
• Cultural care refers to multiple aspects of culture that influence and enable...