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J Nurs Manag. 2011 Jul;19(5):673-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2011.01221.x. Epub 2011 Mar 29.

Future nurses' cultural competencies: what are their learning experiences during exchange and studies abroad? A systematic literature review.

Author information

1
Department of Health, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Tampere, Finland. raija.kokko@tamk.fi

Abstract

AIM:

This article describes the development of cultural competence among nursing students. The focus is on illuminating the learning experiences of nursing students during their exchange.

BACKGROUND:

As the world gets smaller, the demand for culturally competent nurses increases. Future nurses need to be open-minded towards international cooperation and willing to develop the quality of care from a cultural point of view. Nursing education in many countries provides an option for students to learn nursing in different cultures while taking part of their studies abroad.

METHODS:

A systematic literature search was conducted. Inductive content analysis was applied to the data consisting of empirical studies (n=7) describing nursing students' studies abroad.

RESULTS:

The process of developing cultural competence among nursing students on exchange was found to consist of three main themes, namely: (1) an increased cultural knowledge base, (2) personal growth and (3) the impact of exchange experiences on the nursing student's own practice.

CONCLUSIONS:

Studies abroad are a beneficial strategy for the development of future nurses' cultural competence.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT:

Nursing is facing a crucial challenge to recruit culturally competent nurses, because an increasing number of patients are from different cultures. Nurses with experiences of studying abroad can offer employers a resource through their preparedness for culturally competent nursing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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