Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 8-13-2022


One-year Embargo

Submission Type


Degree Name





School of Nursing

Committee Chair

Rick Zoucha

Committee Member

Mary Cazzell

Committee Member

Jessica Devido


limited English proficient, Spanish speaking parents, hospitalized children, Mexican origin, ethnonursing, culturally congruent care


Purpose: Parents’ inability to speak English proficiently is associated with communication barriers in the care process of their children, social determinants of health, and poor child health outcomes. Research exploring perspectives of Spanish speaking parents with limited English proficiency (SSP-LEP) whose children are hospitalized in the context of culture is lacking in the literature. The purpose of this study was to explore the cultural experiences, values, and beliefs of SSP-LEP, of Mexican origin, whose children were hospitalized and understand nurses’ role in providing culturally congruent care.

Design and Methods: Leininger’s qualitative, ethnonursing method was used for this study. The Theory of Culture Care Diversity and Universality provided a guiding framework. Eleven SSP-LEP, of Mexican origin, participated in interviews conducted in-person and via Zoom. Data was analyzed using Leininger’s four phases of qualitative analysis.

Results: Three themes emerged: 1. role of the mother as an ever-present manager of care for the hospitalized child and family, 2. parents’ difficult, fearful, stressful, and unknowing experiences in the presence of a language barrier, and 3. expected nursing care that was kind, respectful, compassionate, and attentive.

Conclusions: Lack of knowledge creates hardships for parents who desire to be involved, informed caregivers. Communication in Spanish language is integral to parents’ understanding and expected nursing care. SSP-LEP may have negative feelings; yet describe a positive care experience.

Practice implications: Culturally congruent care should incorporate language services for information sharing that facilitates parent participation and decision-making; be kind, respectful, compassionate, and attentive; and promote maternal role maintenance.



Additional Citations

Stephen, J. M., & Zoucha, R. (2020). Spanish speaking, limited English proficient parents whose children are hospitalized: An integrative review. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 52, 30-40. doi:10.1016/j.pedn.2020.02.033