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J Prof Nurs. 1996 Mar-Apr;12(2):106-10.

The long-term impact on nursing students of participating in international education.

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School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire 54702, USA.


Internationalizing the nursing curriculum is essential to the education of the nurse professional prepared for the rapidly changing challenges of the 21st century. Despite recognition of this essential need, the long-term effects of international education on nursing students have not been examined. The purpose of this study was to describe the long-term impact of study abroad experiences on baccalaureate graduates. Using a descriptive survey design, data were collected from 27 alumni (88 per cent response rate) who completed the International Education Survey. Although the impact was found to decrease over time, respondents reported the highest impact in enhanced international perspective and increased personal development; lower impact was reported in the professional nurse role and intellectual development dimensions. Students who participated in longer programs (12 to 16 weeks) reported higher long-term impact than those participating in 3- to 4-week programs. Respondents' age at the time of the international education was positively correlated with personal development. No association was found between the respondents' year in college in which they participated and reported long-term impact. This study is a contribution to the efforts of those who are committed to making nursing education relevant in a global society.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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