Purpose This week’s graded topic relates to the following Course Outcome (CO). CO6: Plans clinical practice activities that integrate professional nursing standards in accordance with the Nursing Code of Ethics and the ANA standards of practice (PO#6). Go to the link . View the National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services Standards (CLAS) categories aimed at equity and quality care (HHS, n.d.). Notice how these standards overlap with many of the expectations and standards in professional nursing practice!


In the field of nursing, it is essential to provide care that is equitable and of high quality to individuals from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. The National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services Standards (CLAS) categories aim to ensure that healthcare services are tailored to meet the unique needs of individuals from different cultures and linguistic groups. These standards align with the expectations and professional nursing standards that guide nursing practice.

Overview of the CLAS Standards

The CLAS standards were developed by the Office of Minority Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to address the disparities in healthcare experienced by individuals with limited English proficiency and diverse cultural backgrounds (Office of Minority Health, n.d.). The standards consist of 15 categories that serve as guidelines for healthcare organizations and providers to improve the quality and effectiveness of their services. These categories are grouped into three themes: governance, communication, and workforce.

Overlap with Professional Nursing Practice

The CLAS standards align with several expectations and standards of professional nursing practice. Nurses play a crucial role in delivering culturally and linguistically appropriate care, as they interact closely with patients and their families. By adhering to these standards, nurses can promote equity and enhance the quality of care they provide. Let us explore some specific examples of how the CLAS standards overlap with professional nursing practice.

1. Communication and Language Assistance

One of the central themes of the CLAS standards is effective communication with patients. Nurses, as frontline healthcare providers, must ensure that language barriers are addressed to facilitate clear and accurate communication. Within professional nursing practice, standardizing language assistance services, such as interpreter services or translation of written materials, is crucial to ensure that patients receive information in a language they understand (American Nurses Association, 2015). This approach can facilitate better comprehension, informed decision-making, and improved outcomes for patients from diverse linguistic backgrounds.

2. Cultural Competence and Awareness

Cultural competence is an integral component of both professional nursing practice and the CLAS standards. Nurses are expected to be aware of and respect the cultural beliefs, values, and practices of diverse populations they serve. By doing so, they can better address the healthcare needs of individuals within their cultural context. The CLAS standards emphasize the importance of cultural competence training for healthcare professionals (Office of Minority Health, n.d.). By integrating cultural competence education into nursing curricula and continuing education programs, nurses can enhance their ability to provide culturally sensitive care.

3. Equity and Quality Improvement

The CLAS standards emphasize the goal of achieving equitable healthcare for all individuals, regardless of their cultural or linguistic backgrounds. Similarly, professional nursing practice upholds the values of equity and advocates for the elimination of healthcare disparities. Nurses are encouraged to adopt a proactive approach to identify and address health inequities. By adhering to the CLAS standards, nurses can actively contribute to reducing health disparities and improving healthcare outcomes for all patients.

4. Leadership and Advocacy

Nursing practice extends beyond bedside care, with nurses often assuming leadership roles within healthcare organizations. The CLAS standards highlight the importance of leadership commitment to cultural and linguistic competence (Office of Minority Health, n.d.). Nurses, as leaders, can advocate for the implementation of policies and practices that promote equity and culturally competent care. By championing these principles, nurses can influence organizational change and create a supportive environment for providing care that aligns with the CLAS standards.


The CLAS standards provide a framework for healthcare organizations and providers to ensure equitable and culturally and linguistically appropriate care. These standards align with the expectations and standards in professional nursing practice, emphasizing the importance of effective communication, cultural competence, equity, and leadership. By integrating the CLAS standards into nursing practice, nurses can contribute to improving the quality of care and patient outcomes for diverse populations.