Creating Global Clinical Internship Experiences
Johnson, Amy Nagorski
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Session presented on Friday, July 24, 2015: Across campuses in the United States and abroad, international nursing experiences that enable students to gain a broader perspective on global healthcare issues have become increasingly popular and valuable to nursing. The practices fall under three broad categories: study abroad programs, sustainable service learning opportunities, and clinical nursing inteRNips. While there are significant benefits for each, the clinical inteRNip appears to be the most challenging program to establish. Because clinical inteRNips provide a platform for understanding nursing issues in developing and developed countries, offer students insight in providing culturally competent care, and support collaborative research and service opportunities for nurses, the demand for this experience is growing exponentially. Research examining the benefits of global inteRNip or experiential learning across disciplines reveals the importance of establishing international collaborations of stakeholders before programs are developed. There must be a common language of program goals, potential benefits, a plan to minimize costs and risk before the partnership can move forward. Establishing international collaborations with hospital institutions, researchers, and nurses take time, but translates to career-related benefits that employers seek according to recent publications. The purpose of this presentation is to describe the development of successful global inteRNip programs and answer key questions on negotiating international collaboration to offer affordable abroad programs that are accessible to all nursing students. The important dimensions of inteRNips are examined and a summary of recommendations are presented as 'best advice' in creating and growing sustainable clinical inteRNip programs.