The creation of a synchronous learning environment to support a study abroad program for nursing majors at a traditional liberal arts university.

Abstract

In response to an increased need for Spanish-speaking and culturally competent nurses, a small private undergraduate-only liberal arts university implemented a semester-long study abroad program for nursing majors in Barcelona, Spain. Prior to the creation of this program, study abroad for nursing students was limited because of prelicensure requirements and limitations of a traditional nursing curriculum. Students studying in Spain enroll in four courses--including two core nursing courses delivered using Polycom hardware and telepresence software by nursing faculty who remain in the United States, a Spanish language course, and one general education course taught either by the University's Spain Director or by an experienced Spanish professor. Participants live with host families and participate in clinical and community observational experiences in Spanish health care agencies. Students then complete direct patient care requirements upon return to the United States. To our knowledge, no other undergraduate-only institution offers a semester-long study abroad experience for nursing majors embedded within the curriculum using synchronous learning; we believe our Spain program, which is in its fourth year being open to nursing majors, is truly an innovative approach to establish cultural competence for undergraduate nursing majors that could serve as a model for other schools of nursing and health disciplines.

DOI: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2014.10.008

Cite this paper

@article{Folse2015TheCO, title={The creation of a synchronous learning environment to support a study abroad program for nursing majors at a traditional liberal arts university.}, author={Victoria N Folse and Carolyn M Jarvis and Susan L Swanlund and Mitzi Runyard Timan}, journal={Journal of professional nursing : official journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing}, year={2015}, volume={31 3}, pages={233-41} }