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From May to August 2012, I had the opportunity to observe and participate in health care at two very different parts of the world—a malaria clinic in Ghana and a Tibetan refugee colony in Northern India. With my upbringing in Bangkok, Thailand and educational experiences in the United States, I am interested in the different ways nurses and their roles fit into societal changes in every cultural context. One of the starkest differences is the view of compassion and professionalism in the role. Compassion is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress with a desire to alleviate it” (Merriam-Webster, 2014). Even though many nurses chose their vocation primarily from this driving force of compassion, clinical competency requires that they keep a professional distance from patients (NCSBN, 2009). It may be assumed that the disconnect is from the Anglo-American culture traits that value individualism, independence and self-reliance (Leininger, 2006). Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explore the role of compassionate care in transcultural nursing and some different nonwestern-approaches to care.