Influence of short-term study abroad experiences on community health baccalaureate students

Lynelle Philips, Tina Bloom, Tammie Gainey, Ellen Chiocca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Very short study abroad programs may be most feasible in undergraduate nursing programs, but little research describes their value for prospective nurses. The narratives of senior baccalaureate nursing students (N = 62) who traveled for 2 weeks to Cape Coast, Ghana, between semesters for a faculty-led community health clinical experience were analyzed. Method: Students responded to pre- and posttrav-el semi-structured, open-ended prompts regarding expectations and perceptions of culture, health, and happiness. Data were analyzed using a qualitative descriptive approach. Results: Four themes emerged related to perceptions of culture, relationships with community, definitions of health and happiness, and adaptability and innovation. African American stu-dents’ (n = 3) responses highlighted unique themes regarding personal identity. Conclusion: Student perceptions of culture demonstrated progression through previously described stages of cultural competence. Relatively novel themes regarding community relationships, perceptions of health and happiness, and adaptability suggest additional value of this short-term study abroad experience for nursing students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-533
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nursing Education
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


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