International Collaboration of Nursing Students: Our Experience

Thursday, 25 July 2013: 8:30 AM

Marcia Rucker Shannon, MSN, RN, CS
Crystal M. Lange College of Health and Human Services, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI
Andrea M. Winne, High School
School of Nursing, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to describe 3 challenges to conducting international research via an international collaboration.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to list steps to prepare for an international collaboration on a research project.

The International Compilation of Human Research Standards details over 1,000 laws, regulations, and guidelines that govern human subjects research in over 100 countries, including Nepal, as well as the standards from a number of international and regional organizations. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Human Research Protection (OHRP) works to ensure that human subjects outside of the United States who participate in research projects receive the same level of protections as research participants inside the United States. To that end, the OHRP International Activities program offers consultation services, disseminates pertinent reports, and provides research ethics training.

While there are many regulations and guidelines describing international human subjects research, there are few resources describing the trials and tribulations of conducting international nursing research. This presentation will describe our process of conducting international research based on our recent experience in Nepal.  Successes, challenges, methodological issues and problems encountered, along with creative solutions will be shared. Finding appropriate partners, making professional connections, progressing through multiple Internal Review Board committees, and tips for working with another culture will be reviewed.  Comments from students, and faculty, in both countries will be shared.

The experiences come from a research project on “Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine Usage by Nurses in Nepal” conducted by nursing students from both countries, over a period of a year.  The project involved nursing students from both a university in the Midwest and 2 universities and hospitals in Nepal, one in Dhulikhel and the other in Kathmandu, partnering to complete this study. Although we experienced many challenges in conducting this study, they were not insurmountable, and once overcome, allowed this collaboration to be successful, with potential  long-term benefits for future delivery of healthcare.