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Int J Nurs Educ Scholarsh. 2004;1:Article21. Epub 2004 Oct 29.

The meaning of participation in an international service experience among baccalaureate nursing students.

Author information

1
University of North Dakota, USA. tracyevanson@mail.und.nodak.edu

Abstract

Nine nursing students volunteered their spring break to provide nursing service in a rural, economically challenged area of Guatemala. The students were involved in all aspects of planning and preparation for the international experience. All nine students participated in a qualitative study which sought to describe the meaning of participation in an international service experience among baccalaureate nursing students. Data were collected through reflection journals, evening group conversations in Guatemala, written narratives, and a post-experience focus group interview. Six themes were uncovered using content analysis: (a) Clarification of career path/goals, (b) Improved understanding of social justice and globalization issues, (c) Motivation to continue service work, (d) Discovering the reciprocity of relationships with others, (e) Appreciation for the whole person, and (f) Finding a way to respect the sacredness of the experience. This study lends support for the positive benefits of short-term international experiences for nursing students.

PMID:
16646887
DOI:
10.2202/1548-923x.1070
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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