International Clinical Experiences for Required Clinical Contact Hours in U.S. Schools of Nursing

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Tamara H. McKinnon, DNP, RN, APHN
Nursing, Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA, USA
Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, RN, FAAN
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA
Anglea McNelis, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, CNE
George Washington University, Ashburn, VA, DC, USA
Kathleen de Leon, MS, RN
University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA



Over the past decade, there has been an increase in interest and participation in international experiences and programs in United States Schools of Nursing as faculty are concerned with preparing future nurses as global citizens. In fact many schools of nursing have an explicitly stated commitment to international experiences and/or global citizenship as a component of their mission and vision. And the subject of international health may be integrated into the nursing curricula. Further, the ever-increasing multicultural population in the US poses a significant challenge to nurses for providing culturally appropriate and holistic care to their patients as many are unprepared or underprepared to care for diverse citizens. Nurses are required to be knowledgeable and understand cultural differences in healthcare values, beliefs, and customs. International clinical experiences provide an environment for developing knowledge, skills, and attitudes that promote culturally competent care. Despite increasing interest and strong philosophical and evidentiary support for international learning experiences, a recent national survey by the National League for Nursing (NLN) revealed that fewer than 50% of US schools of nursing have such programs, and faculty respondents identified significant obstacles to program development (McKinnon & McNelis, 2011).

Study Aims

Specific Aim 1: Describe the nature of international clinical experiences for required clinical nursing courses in RN pre-licensure programs in US schools of nursing.

Specific Aim 2: Obtain information about understanding of their state BON regulations regarding international clinical experiences from the program director/program administrator of RN pre-licensure programs in US schools of nursing.


This National Council of State Boards of Nursing funded study will include a national survey of all Registered Nurse pre-licensure programs in the United States including Associate Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Diploma, and Master’s Entry programs. We will assess the use of international clinical experiences to meet required clinical content across all clinical content areas and clinical nursing specialties, determine facilitators and barriers to using international clinical experiences, and identify the basic understanding of State Board of Nursing requirements. While this national survey is limited to United States based schools of nursing, it is our intent to expand this work to address similar issues in other countries.


Preliminary survey results will be presented.


Preliminary survey results and conclusions will be presented.