Student Learning Outcomes and Global Trips: Insight into Cultural Awareness and Personal Growth

Monday, 22 July 2013: 2:10 PM

Beverly Byers, EdD, RN
JoAnn D. Long, RN, PhD, NEA-BC
Department of Nursing, Lubbock Christian University, Lubbock, TX

Learning Objective 1: Discuss the effects of a global trip on student perspectives regarding culture.

Learning Objective 2: Discuss the preliminary reliability of a global culture questionnaire.

Purpose: Understanding global culture has become an expectation in nursing education world-wide and Leininger’s Culture Care Theory is a framework for global culture.  Educational standards require nurses receive cultural awareness education.  Nurses enrolled in the RN-BSN and MSN programs at Lubbock Christian University have limited awareness of other cultures’ values, traditions, and health care beliefs and practices.  To address accreditation standards, the MSN course, 5306 Global Culture Health required students to travel abroad for 10-13 days. The purpose of this study was to discover the effectiveness of a global trip on student perspectives and professional growth and to evaluate the preliminary reliability a global culture questionnaire.

Methods: This study used a mixed-methods design.  The research questions for this project were 1) Can a global trip change the professional behaviors, beliefs, and values regarding culture and health of undergraduate and graduate nursing students?   2) What is the reliability of a newly developed cultural assessment questionnaire?  A five-point Likert-type questionnaire was developed after a review of the literature.  Data were gathered from the (n=21) students during a two year period.  

Results: The questionnaire had a Cronbach’s alpha of .75.  The results indicated the students’ knowledge of culture was increased, as well as their perceptions of other cultures more clearly identified following the trip.  The qualitative narrative findings revealed increased awareness of cultural differences as well as changes in students’worldview of other cultures that were reflected in a greater openness to diverse populations.  Prior to a global trip, the nursing students admitted their knowledge of other cultures was limited.  Following the global trip, students indicated they had a clearer understanding of their perceptions of other cultures. An unexpected finding was the insight the students gained about themselves. 

Conclusion: Student cultural awareness changed during short global trips and further study is recommended.