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J Nurs Educ. 1998 Jan;37(1):13-21.

A comparison of international learning experiences for baccalaureate nursing students: developed and developing countries.

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Division of Nursing, Saint Joseph College, West Hartford, Connecticut 06117, USA.


As faculty seek creative learning opportunities for students in a changing social, political, and health care environment, knowledge about international learning experiences can provide critical information for decision making. This study sought the answer to two questions: What are the learning outcomes of an international experience for baccalaureate nursing students and what are the similarities and differences in what students learn in developed and developing countries? Using grounded theory methodology, 14 students who had participated in international learning experiences were interviewed. Three major categories emerged from the data analysis: personal and professional growth, empirical knowledge, and the learning experience. More similarities than differences were identified among the students who had traveled to developing versus developed countries. The findings suggest that international experiences need to include the opportunity to provide direct nursing care. A proposed model for such experiences is presented.

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