International clinical education and direct experience of another culture is a very powerful event for graduate nursing students, especially since a multitude of issues in public health transcend international boundaries. Global warming, emerging pandemics, bioterrorism and war, the vast divide between the wealthy and impoverished nations are but a few. Besides processing new information and experiences, students process the realization of the inclusiveness and unconscious nature of one’s own culture. Clinical experiences don’t have to be extravagant, just diverse in order for nursing students to get excited and learn innovative ideas that they can implement into their own practice. These experiences can be in their own country, or a short-term study abroad in the form of clinical educational experience in developed or under-developed countries. These invaluable experiences provide nurse leaders a different perspective of how other professionals orchestrate their ‘nursing work’ within the contextual factors of policies, politics, societal, institutional, and culture within the health care systems of different countries.
By employing Kleinman’s explanatory model, graduate nursing students were able to further their understanding of a population’s meaning of illness and disease process. Public health nurses’ understanding of how an individual from a vulnerable population seeks health care helped them to be strategic in developing programs that are effective for health promotion health and prevention. The impacts maybe large or small, but by providing differing international clinical experiences we are educating nurses to be aware of the individuals’ cultural differences, learn about ethnic differences first hand, and help to bring global health that maybe an abstract concept to a clearer and more real understanding. This globalization of nurses through international clinical educational experiences helps to sustain our need for qualified leaders who envision how world health affects patients domestically. This curriculum helps shape future nurse researcher and leadership roles.
|Keywords:||International Health, Culture, Sustain Public Health Nurse Leaders|
Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, California, USA
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