The objective of this study was to analyze the healthcare encounters between nurses and parents of different cultural backgrounds in primary health care. An ethnographic study was carried out using participant observations in health centers and interviews with nurses. Data were analyzed using thematic content analysis and constant comparative method. Four main themes were identified when nurses met parents of other cultural backgrounds: lack of mutual understanding, electronic records hamper the interaction, lack of professionals' cultural awareness and skills, and nurses establish superficial or distant relationships. The concepts of ethnocentrism and cultural imposition are behind these findings, hampering the provision of culturally competent care in primary health services. There were difficulties in obtaining and registering culturally related aspects that influence children's health and development. This was due to e¿records, language barriers, and the lack of cultural awareness and skills in health professionals making the encounters difficult for both nurses and parents. These findings show that there is a clear threat for health equity and safety in primary care if encounters between nurses and parents do not improve to enable nursing care to be tailored to any individual family needs.