Building Mexico-U.S. Academic Partnerships: Bridging Cultures and Breaking Barriers

Monday, 9 November 2015

Carolina Huerta, EdD, MSN, BSN, RN, FAAN
Nursing Department, University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, TX, USA
Juana Mercedes Gutierrez Valverde, RN, DR, MSN, RN
School of Nursing, School of Nursing, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

Knowledge of global health care is considered an essential component of nursing in the 21st century. One avenue to impart this knowledge to nursing students is the creation of international partnerships. These international partnerships promote educational experiences that provide nursing students with an opportunity to learn the different country-specific educational systems, develop cultural awareness necessary when providing health care, and become more sensitive to the importance of making global connections in a technologically driven world.  This presentation focuses on one such partnership between a public University in Texas and Universidad Autonóma de Nuevo Leon, Mexico (UANL). Geographically, the two universities are separated by the Rio Grande River. The university in Texas is located in the lower Rio Grande Valley and is approximately 12 miles from the Texas-Mexico border. The student population is approximately 88% Mexican-American. UANL is located in Monterrey, Mexico, approximately 160 miles from the border that divides the Rio Grande Valley and Mexico. Although many of the students share a common heritage and only a river separates the two areas, culturally these students are not the same.  This presentation describes the development of an international collaboration between two nursing programs, one in Mexico and the other in the United States. The two speakers, one from the United States and the other from Mexico, will each present their unique viewpoint of this evolving experience.

The purposes of this presentation are to: 1.) Describe the development of a partnership between Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon School of Nursing and a university in Texas’ Nursing Department and programs; 2.) Discuss the similarities between the two schools and the benefits and challenges encountered in establishing the partnership; 3.) Demonstrate the success of an international academic partnership, and 4.) Discuss potential strategic alliances that will enrich student and faculty learning in both countries.