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J Nurs Educ. 2013 Dec;52(12):690-5.

Perceived benefits of study abroad programs for nursing students: an integrative review.

Abstract

Study abroad programs that off er health care experiences in another country have become an important method in nursing education to increase students' understanding of cultural competence and intercultural sensitivity and to present them with new ideas and opportunities for personal and career development. Despite the many alleged positive attributes associated with such programs, a gap exists in the overall understanding of the benefits obtained by undergraduate nursing students who study abroad. Using Cooper's framework, 13 studies that explored the benefits of study abroad programs for undergraduate nursing students were reviewed. Findings suggest that participation in a study abroad experience is associated with many benefits for nursing students, including various forms of personal and professional growth, cultural sensitivity and competence, and cognitive development. Although research outcomes are encouraging, the nursing literature regarding this topic is limited, and more rigorous research studies are needed to support this educational practice.

PMID:
24256000
DOI:
10.3928/01484834-20131118-01
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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