Nursing has, in recent years, strongly argued that an individual's culture influences how illness events are perceived and managed. Nursing has also identified the need for nurses to provide culturally sensitive care. The literature, however, provides very limited direction for the integration of such concepts into nursing curricula. In this paper, the author presents a theoretical perspective on culture that addresses cultural beliefs and values but also extends to consider caring and programmes of care delivery within the broader social context. Using examples from the literature, the author identifies knowledge and skills deemed essential if nurses are to be capable of working effectively with individual clients and at the level of programme design and delivery.