5 Ways Global Experiences Make Better Nurses
UBSON's next global experience will take place in April, when an
interdisciplinary team will travel to Galette, Haiti, for a mobile
medical mission to care for the area's very underserved population.
The team is crowdfunding for support.
In nursing education, faculty recognize the importance of global
experiences to enrich the knowledge, understanding and ethical
nursing and health care practice of students. Here are five reasons
why global experiences in nursing school can help grow better
nurses (and health care).
BY MOLLI WARUNEK, DNP, RN, FNP-C, UBSON CLINICAL ASSISTANT
PROFESSOR & MOBILE MEDICAL MISSION MAVEN | February 15,
1. Exposure to diverse cultures
- A global health perspective aims to promote health and equity
for all people worldwide.
- Students gain valuable experience collaborating with various
disciplines, including professionals in dental, medical, pharmacy,
public health and many other fields.
- Participants better understand and utilize population-based
prevention strategies that account for the unique characteristics
of specific populations.
2. Building cultural competency/consciousness
- By gaining a broad and deep understanding of diverse cultural
backgrounds and the ways culture influence beliefs and behaviors,
culturally competent health care professionals can take the lead in
transforming and improving health care policies, practices and
- Global experiences help increase knowledge about other cultures
values, beliefs, and practices – these experiences have a
valuable impact on the student’s development of cultural
- Students who can translate learning from one culture into a
broadened perspective will be better prepared to provide care to
our increasingly multicultural society.
3. Gaining awareness of global health issues
- Students experience firsthand the need for global health and
the issues related to achieving health equity for all people across
the globe. Global health aims to promote health and equity for all
- Understanding the hardships of the individuals in these
cultures is much more meaningful when learned hands-on than could
ever be achieved in classroom settings and discussions.
- Future nursing education and health care depends on the
individual’s understanding of differing cultures, economics
and political contexts.
“The trouble is that once you see it, you can't unsee
it. And once you've seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes
as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either
way, you're accountable.”
4. Networking for interdisciplinary and international collaboration
- Collaboration of disciplines helps students to see the impact
of networking and utilizing available resources to improve
population-based prevention and individual clinical care.
- Global experience changes the attitudes of students to increase
their want to work with individuals from other cultures.
5. Perspective, independence, creativity
- Students learn volumes about priorities and what is truly
meaningful in life.
- Innovating health care requires both critical thinking and
creativity. Global experiences allow students the independence to
explore their views of culture and grow both their creativity and
their nursing skills, enabling them to find innovative ways to meet
UBSON's next global experience: Haiti, April 2018
Faculty and students from the University at Buffalo School of
Nursing and members of the Buffalo community are traveling to
Galette, Haiti to complete a mobile medical mission trip alongside
Servants in Fellowship (SIF) from April 22-29, 2018. Once
there, they will be caring for an extremely underserved
and poor population with very limited to no access to
health care in a rural area of Haiti.