Student Learning on Education and Healthcare Through a United Kingdom-United States International Exchange

Monday, July 11, 2011: 2:05 PM

Colleen Elizabeth Vogelman1
Abbie Moseley, BS2
Caren R. Seltz1
Brittany M. Genday1
Molly J. Boyce1
Rebecca L. Clifford, BS2
(1)School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
(2)Faculty of Health, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, England

Learning Objective 1: o The learner will be able to state the differences in nursing education and healthcare delivery in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Learning Objective 2: o The learner will be able to state the similarities and differences in cultures between the cities of Pittsburgh and Birmingham.

Purpose: Global competency is an important concept for students to experience and understand. 

Methods: Two groups of students traveled on a study abroad experience at Birmingham City University, a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning funded university, and the University of Pittsburgh, a research based institution.  The exchange stemmed from the partnership between the two universities, which began in 2005 due to interest in disseminating simulation. 

Results: The trips gave the students the opportunity to learn about and experience nursing and healthcare delivery within the UK and US.  The students from both countries reflected upon the experience to identify the positive and negative aspects of healthcare delivery and education in each country.   English nursing students discovered the costly implications in place regarding nursing education and personal healthcare.  Nursing education in the UK is funded by the National Health Service, and therefore health science students are exempt from paying tuition fees.  Overwhelmingly the technology and drive for academic success in the US was discovered to be exceptional, with a great emphasis on returning to higher education to complete doctorate programs. The students gained a new perspective about the healthcare system of different cultures.  The partnership allowed for the students to not only compare and contrast the educational system and healthcare delivery systems but also observe the cultural differences.   The cities of Pittsburgh and Birmingham come from similar industrial backgrounds.  Birmingham is a very diverse city and will be the first non-white city in the UK.  This diversity has proven to be a challenge for nurses in the UK because they must be able to care for many non-English speakers and must also respect the varying cultural practices.  The diversity was not as apparent in Pittsburgh.

Conclusion: Altogether, the trip provided all the students involved with a memorable, global, educational experience.