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The argument that nurses need to consider the different ethnic and cultural backgrounds of their patients, in order to provide effective and safe nursing care, is presented The concept of culture is then discussed in order to provide the conceptual context for examining transcultural nursing which is described as nursing practice that accounts for patients' cultural difference This paper also explores how transcultural nursing is the means for nurses to enable their patients to improve or sustain their health as both nurses and patients struggle with the contradictions of racism, oppression and‘caring’that co-exist in a multicultural society