The Transcultural Nursing Society 45th Anniversary of Advancing Cultural Competence of Nurses Worldwide

By Hiba Wehbe-Alamah, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, CTN-A, FAAN, Transcultural Nursing Scholar

Dr. Madeleine M. Leininger (July 13, 1925 - August 10, 2012)

The Transcultural Nursing Society (TCNS) was founded in 1974 at the University of Utah, by then Professor and Dean of the College of Nursing, Dr Madeleine M. Leininger, an internationally renowned nurse theorist, researcher, educator, administrator, author, consultant, public speaker, scholar, human rights advocate, and leader in the field of Transcultural Nursing. The charter members of the society consisted of Dr Leininger, her former students from the University of Colorado and the University of Washington, as well as current students and faculty from the University of Utah. The current TCNS Central Office, dedicated on May 8, 2001, is housed at Madonna University, Livonia, Michigan.  The Transcultural Nursing Society first came to the Madonna University Campus in 1990.

Today, nine chapters have been approved by the TCNS Board of Trustees and include the Kansas City Area, Louisiana, Mid-Atlantic, Mississippi/Alabama Area, Northeast, Southeast Florida Area, Fort Wayne,IN and Wisconsin Area Networking Chapters. Regional Liaisons and Cooperative [international] Alliances include the SE Florida Networking Chapter, the Puget Sound Regional Liaison, and the Australia Cooperative Alliance.

The Mission of the TCNS is to enhance the quality of culturally congruent, competent, and equitable care that results in improved health and wellbeing for people worldwide.
The Vision of The TCNS is to provide nurses and other health care professionals with the knowledge base necessary to ensure cultural competence in practice, education, research, and administration.

The Goals of TCNS are:

  • To advance cultural competence for nurses worldwide
  • To advance the scholarship (substantive knowledge) of the discipline
  • To develop strategies for advocating social change for culturally competent care
  • To promote a sound financial non-profit corporation

The logo of the transcultural Nursing Society is inspired by Dr Leininger’s motto: “That we will become one united world culture for unity, good health, peace and goodwill for all cultures in the world as we become one world with many cultures” (Leininger, 1960).

The TCNS hosted its first conference in 1974. The annual TCNS International Conference provides a venue for sharing knowledge and resources, networking and mentoring opportunities, interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaborations, fun activities, cultural excursions, and great food! The 45th annual TCNS International Conference will take place on October16-19, 2019, at Omni Hotel in Richmond, Virginia.

The TCNS established The Leininger Transcultural Nursing Award in 1983 to recognize outstanding and creative leaders in transcultural nursing. The award is usually bestowed, when awarded, at the annual Gala dinner. The first recipient of this prestigious award was Dr. JoAnn Glittenberg Hinrichs. Other awards established by the TCNS or its members include the Transcultural Nursing Society Scholarship ($1000), The J. Frank and Joan Uhl Pierce Transcultural Nursing Award ($1000), the Transcultural Nursing Society Research Award ($3000), and the Transcultural Nursing Society (TCNS) Research Award - Honoring The Contributions Of The Northeast Chapter ($1000).

TCNS Certification in Transcultural Nursing began in 1987 as a paper and pencil multiple choice examination, followed by an oral examination, with testing taking place at the Annual Transcultural Nursing Society Conference. Today, the TCNS offers basic and advanced transcultural nursing certifications in electronic formats

The official journal of the Transcultural Nursing Society is The Journal of Transcultural Nursing (JTCN). While papers presented at the early conferences were published in Conference Proceedings, in the summer of 1989, the first issue of the JTCN (Volume 1, Number1) was published with Dr Leininger serving as editor from 1989 to 1995.The journal's mission is to promote dissemination of research findings concerning the relationship among culture, nursing and other disciplines, and the delivery of health care.

It was under the presidency of Dr Dula Pacquiao that the induction of the Charter members of the Transcultural Nursing Scholars took place on October 8, 2004, at the TCNS Central Office in Michigan.  The first inductees were Dr Leininger, as foundress and first president of the society, as well as all the presidents who had served since. The TCNS Scholars was established to promote the advancement of a body of knowledge, initiate and disseminate research, teaching and learning, and the clinical applications of transcultural nursing and healthcare globally.  The scholars strive to advance transcultural nursing and health care research, education, practice, and administration within regional, national, or global contexts. New inductees are honored at the society’s annual gala dinner.

In 2008, the Transcultural Nursing Society (TCNS) responded to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in health and health care by developing a position statement on human rights. The society determined that “regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, religious and philosophical beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, cultural values, age, and other diversities, people have universal human rights” that include but are not limited to access to quality care including qualified healthcare professionals, organizations and resources, access to culturally and linguistically competent healthcare providers, and respectful care with recognition for personal dignity, privacy and confidentiality.

It’s a great time to be a Transcultural Nurse! Join the Transcultural Nursing Society today in its continued and ongoing quest to make this world a better place by advancing cultural competence worldwide!