A Phenomenological Exploration of International Nurse's Motivation and Experiences in Pursuing a Master's Degree in Nursing in the United States

Monday, 9 November 2015: 1:45 PM

Carol A. Amann, MSN, RN-BC, CDP, FNGNA
Vila Maria School of Nursing, Gannon University, Erie, PA, USA
Elizabeth J. Diener, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, CNE
Kramer School of Nursing, Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City University, OK, USA

Educational preparation of nurse educators is crucial to advancement of the profession of nursing globally.  Most nurses seek to extend formal education in their country of origin, however an increasing number pursue advanced nursing degrees in the international community.  Little is known about the experiences or motivation of nurses studying abroad.  This phenomenological investigation will describe the lived experiences and motivation of international nurses enrolled in a Master’s Degree in Nursing program at a south central University in the United States. 

Using Giorgi’s approach to phenomenological analysis, five themes were identified by the researchers:  Setting Sail –student motivation and expectations, Innocents Abroad - early experiences in negotiating educational and community experience in English language , Forging Onward - barriers encountered in culture, entering into nursing (employment or observation), Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom - pedagogical differences in education in the US and higher education milieu, and The Land of Far Beyond - student visions of their global role in building a nursing community.  An international education experience appears to have value for students in every aspect of their lives.  Recognizing the need for improved collaboration between international students and faculty may lead to new and meaningful ways of approaching global education experiences.