Impact of a service learning experience on the intercultural sensitivity of nursing students

Catherine S. Thomas, Leona Konieczny


Service learning (SL) is an educational strategy to develop intercultural sensitivity. Nursing students benefit from the opportunity to care for persons from diverse cultures. Social awareness and making significant social contributions is part of professional nursing. Nursing students are educated to provide culturally sensitive, person-centered care incorporating the values of social justice, diversity, and global awareness. The SL experience was independent from a specific nursing course and exclusive from a designated clinical practicum. This descriptive quantitative study examines the impact of a SL experience in Appalachia on intercultural sensitivity. Intercultural sensitivity is in the affective domain of intercultural communication. Appalachia has distinct cultural differenences related to both geographical and socioeconomic factors. Intercultural sensitivity is in the affective dimension of intercultural communication competence. The Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS), developed by Chen & Starosta, was the instrument used for measurement. Study findings demonstrate an impact on interaction engagement and interaction attentiveness for study participants.

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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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