The Impact of a Cultural Immersion Experience with Low Technology on Nursing Students' Transcultural Self-Efficacy

Wednesday, 9 July 2008: 10:30 AM
Maureen Matejka, RN, MN , Nursing, Red Deer College, Red Deer, AB, Canada
Kristen Ann Gulbransen, RN, MN , Red Deer College, Red Deer, AB, Canada

Learning Objective 1: recognize the impact on cognitive, affective, and practical domains in the transcultural self-efficacy of nursing students following an international immersion experience in Honduras.

Learning Objective 2: describe the impact a cultural immersion experience has on nursing student's transcultural self-efficacy in the cognitive, affective and practical domains.

Meeting the needs of culturally diverse people is challenging; educational institutions are responsible for integrating cultural issues into curricula and for providing opportunities to acquire, maintain, and enhance cultural competencies (Canadian Nurses Association 2004). The aim of this study was to determine the impact of a cultural immersion experience on undergraduate nursing students. The sample included 8 nursing students who were immersed in a cultural experience in Honduras; the immersion experience exposed students to an isolated rural region in a developing country that did not have access to modern technology, including electricity. The course participants' transcultural self-efficacy (TSE) was compared with a group of 10 students enrolled in a clinical nursing course with practicum experiences in a North American urban hospital and public health unit. Students were invited to participate in a survey incorporating a transcultural self-efficacy tool (TSET) designed by Jeffrey(2006). The findings revealed statistically significant (p<0.001) changes in the TSE of students who participated in the immersion experience. A two-way analysis of variance test determined that the cultural immersion experience had a time effect (before and after) on the cognitive, affective, and practical domains. Consistent with previous qualitative studies, students in a cultural immersion experience reported personal and professional growth similar to an increase in TSE . This study reveals that most students completing a clinical nursing course in their own environment and culture do not have a change in transcultural self-efficacy. It is for this reason that nurse educators should consider providing opportunities for cultural immersion experiences.