In this IRB approved study, students reported their experiences in journal accounts, video interviews, pre and post experience questionnaires about their two-week immersion in India. In addition, students provided insights on how the experience has influenced their thoughts about culture, care, and implications for current and future nursing practice. In order to better understand the student immersion experience, the following questions guided the investigation: (1) What are student perceptions of their immersion experience in India? (2) How do students describe the influence of their immersion experience in India in transforming: a. Their worldview? b. Personal growth? c. Understanding of culture? d. Care of patients? e. Current and future nursing practice? (3) What are the feelings that nursing students report before, during, and after their experience? The data from the written journal entries, video interviews, and responses on the pre and post experience questionnaires were used for analysis. Codes were developed from multiple sources and arranged according to themes and verified by a second reviewer (Holloway & Galvin, 2016; Holtslander, Racine, Furniss, Burles & Turner, 2012; Maxwell, 2013). The themes resulted in a rich description of the lived experiences of participants associated with the India immersion.
Students described their experiences as "life changing” and “transformational”. Students reported that the immersion experience benefitted them in a number of ways including an increased: awareness of societal inequities and injustices, understanding of culture and diversity, capacity to care for others, ability to critically think and problem solve, application of experiential knowledge, feeling of personal growth, proficiency to reflect on experiences, awareness of global health disparities, and commitment to future service and civic engagement.
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