A transformational study abroad process model for nursing educators consideration

Grace E. Moorefield


Objective: Preparing nursing students within the college or university setting to make a positive difference in today’s global society increasingly includes opportunities to study abroad. Maximizing the transformational benefits of these experiences while minimizing the potential ill effects must be a focus of those who develop and implement these programs. This research was conducted to better understand the entire study abroad experience from the student point of view in order to develop a holistic model for nurse educators to utilize in the development of curricular and support programming.

Methods: A descriptive, qualitative survey with 72 baccalaureate nursing and other art and science degree alumni from a mid-sized, private, Christian university in the United States who studied for a semester in a third world country was conducted. These participants provided essay answers to four questions regarding the impact, challenges, and opportunities appreciated throughout their study abroad experience, as well as recommendations for future study abroad programming. The responses were analyzed and the results compared with the theoretical framework upon which the study was based.

Results and conclusion: Five major components of a transformative study abroad experience were exemplified. The first related to the characteristics of the sojourner, and the remaining four to a comprehensive patterned experiential process by which students moved through their study abroad experience towards transformation and action. The findings provide both a conceptual model and practical insights for nurse educators to consider as they prepare future nurses to engage their world for good through study abroad experiences.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v8n3p23

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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