Date of Award

Summer 8-4-2022

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing (ND)



First Advisor

David Liguori, DNP, NP-C, ACHPN

Second Advisor

Sarah Cartwright, DNP, RN-BC


Practice Problem: Individuals may express hesitancy in volunteering in community health programs that directly interface with persons experiencing poverty due to poverty biases. Failure to understand the issues and needs of those experiencing poverty may factor into disparities and inequities along the social determinants of health, leading to poorer population health, well-being, and quality of life.

PICOT: The PICOT question that guided this project was in volunteers (mentors) of community health programs (P) how does a cultural competency program (I) compare to the standardized training program(C) influence bias (0) over 8 weeks (T)?

Evidence: An evidence review indicated poverty simulation increases awareness of personal beliefs or attitudes of the impoverished. Additionally, it provided insight into psychosocial and physical challenges experienced by them. Evidence supported that mindfulness is effective in improving concentration, processing a situation in a non-judgmental way, while anticipating activities, and preparing for an actionable response that may positively influence engagement and empathy.

Intervention: A cultural competency program was developed. The program included a virtual online poverty simulation and mindfulness activities implemented over 8 weeks. Participants completed the System and Individual Responsibility for Poverty Scale tool pre- and post-intervention to measure perceptions of poverty and its causes.

Outcome: Persons interested in becoming volunteer mentors for a faith-based vocational readiness program were the participants of this program. The results were not statistically significant. Feedback from participants provided insight that can be utilized for future program planning. The feedback included having respect for persons experiencing poverty and attempts to overcome impacting factors (i.e., psychosocial, economic, and legal).

Conclusion: This cultural competency program highlighted how perceptions of poverty can be introduced into a volunteer or mentoring orientation program within organizations that focus on improving community health. Incorporating a peer discussion component into the implementation phase is an important consideration.


This Scholarly Project submitted to the University of St Augustine for Health Sciences partially fulfills the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.