Does a Study Aboard Program Encourage Nursing Students to Embrace Cross Cultural Experiences?

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Abigail Mitchell, DHEd, MSN
Nursing, D'Youville College, Buffalo, NY, USA
Connie Jozwiak-Shields, PhD, MSN
School of Nursing, D'Youville College, Buffalo, NY, USA

Purpose: Today’s generation of students has challenged nursing faculty to develop creative strategies and innovative methods to encourage students to experience study aboard. High School and College students in the United States have studied abroad for decades, however nursing students are often left out of these experiences due to the curriculum design and required clinical hours. The practice of studying aboard for professional development is not new and has been undertaken by scholars since medieval times, however it is a relatively new endeavor in nursing education (Edmonds, 2010). Research has shown that cultural knowledge in nursing is extremely important and the lack of it may cause deficits in practice as a result and nurses may have ethnocentric and stereotyped attitudes towards patients (Papadopoulos 2006, Takeno 2010). Globalization was first used by economists in 1981 and it refers to the development of increasingly integrated global economy, especially in trade, free flow of capital and the cheaper labor market. In nursing the globalization process has generated a need for cultural competence as nurses are required to manage multicultural patients in practice. Nursing education plays a large role in preparing students for their competent cultural care. One of the primary aims of study aboard programs is to enable student nurses to develop cultural sensitivity so that they may practice appropriately for an increasingly multicultural patient population in their own countries (Karina Martins de Oliveria & Tuohy, 2015). Madeleine Leininger is considered the founder of the theory of transcultural nursing or as known as culture of care theory. Culture is learned by each generation through both formal and informal life experiences (Leininger, 1991). Leininger guided this research study.

Methods: The purpose of this study is twofold. First the researchers will perform a systematic literature review and secondly a quantitative study will be completed. This will be accomplished by study aboard nursing students completing a 15-question survey based on their experiences. The goal of this experience is professional growth with the incorporation of new knowledge into the students’ own practice, enabling them to be more culturally aware and thus provide culturally competent care (Smith & Curry, 2011). The two nursing professors incorporated study aboard opportunities linked to three courses offered in the spring 2017 semester. The courses included: Transcultural nursing for undergraduates, Adult Primary Care, and Health promotion for graduate/DNP students. This experience will take place over spring break so students will not lose time at clinical and/or class time.

Results: Are pending as the study is progress

Conclusion: Are pending