Cultural competence, Nursing students, Immersion experiences
Awareness of cultural concepts is an important component of nursing education and cultural immersion experiences are invaluable in fostering understanding of them. These types of experiences take students out of their comfort zone and challenge them both personally and professionally.
For several years, students on all levels have been participating in a 10-day trip to Kenya led by nursing faculty. Undergraduate students who go on the trip receive clinical credit for their community health course and are required to journal daily about their experiences while on the trip and write a reflection paper for the course when they return. The content of these papers was analyzed for common themes to determine what students learned from the trip and to see if it was worthwhile to allow students to do their clinical capstone experience in Kenya, that would be part of the schools new curriculum.
Four main themes emerged from the student reflection papers. They were: “Making a difference”, “Not knowing what to expect”, “Feeling like a real nurse” and “Renewing my Identity”. The Kenya experience has fostered student growth in various ways and our school of nursing will continue to support this learning experience by encouraging senior students to complete their clinical capstones in Kenya.
Wilk, Nancy C. (2013). "Nursing students’ cultural immersion in Kenya: A case for a clinical capstone site." Journal of Nursing Education and Practice 3.5, 39-44.
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Article published in 2013, Journal of Nursing Education and Practice.