Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Ardis Nelson

Thesis Professor Department

Literature and Language

Thesis Reader(s)

Joy Wachs, Patricia Moore


This research study was designed to improve the quality of health care received by the Hispanic population in northeast Tennessee. After reviewing past research, it is evident that the Hispanic population reports a lower level of health care satisfaction and a greater number of health disparities. Although attempts to reconcile this problem have included implementing regulations and guidelines on the cultural competency of and the provision of language services by health care providers, no measurable improvement has been noted. To positively impact this pervasive problem, the focus must shift away from how health care agencies can affect health care for Hispanics, and toward how health care providers can improve patient care. It is the responsibility of health care providers to provide quality care to all patients, regardless of their culture, race, or language. By interviewing three primary care nurse practitioners who serve a large Hispanic population in northeast Tennessee, it became evident that even with a language aide present, barriers to caring for this population still exist, although these barriers are not unsurmountable. Through years of experience, these providers have developed skills that have improved communication with, and health-related outcomes of, Hispanic patients, but this type of care should not be impacted by nurse practitioner turnover. Each provider agreed that nursing students’ education and opportunities to work with diverse populations while in basic nursing education programs must be improved, so that when students graduate, they can become part of the solution to this ongoing problem.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.