Lived Experiences of Nursing Students Engaged in an International Service Learning Project
Jeana Wilcox, PhD, RN, CNS, CNE
Kathy Taylor-Thompson, BSN, RN, CWON, CFCN

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Abstract: The purpose of this study is to describe the lived experience of nursing students engaged in a medical mission experience during a Transcultural Nursing course offered at a private Midwestern University. A total of 42 students participated in a week-long medical mission trip to Falmouth, Jamaica during 2005-2010. Student views were extracted from journals kept during the mission experience. After students gave consent for journal entries to be copied and transcribed, entries were analyzed through content analysis using Microsoft® Excel® software to identify recurrent themes. The following six themes emerged from the analysis: clinical experience, interpersonal interactions, professional goals, cultural issues, spirituality, and international travel. This study demonstrated the impact of an international service-learning project on undergraduate students' student learning outcomes. Continued research will assist faculty members in modifying trip preparations and reassessing student learning outcomes related to the experience.

Keywords: Service learning, transcultural nursing, international nursing

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