Global connections take nursing students abroad

Global_600For almost two decades, faculty in the College of Nursing (CON) at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh have been developing and teaching a diverse array of international clinical experiences for graduate and undergraduate students.

Historically, these include study-abroad experiences in Africa, India, Nicaragua and Peru. Students participating in international clinicals experience academic and personal growth, enhanced global perspectives and increased cultural competency. As the patient population becomes more diverse, immersion into different cultures and healthcare systems becomes increasingly important.

This year, UW Oshkosh nursing instructor Maria Del Carmen Graf, a dually registered nurse in Peru and the United States, developed a new international partnership for community health clinicals in collaboration with the Universidad Católica de Santa Maria. Sharing similar values and missions, this collaborative partnership promotes multiple aspects of cross-cultural nursing, including sustainable clinical projects and opportunities to care for the underserved.

In addition, nursing faculty members Shelly Lancaster, Laura Smolinski and Tim Wren participated in the 13th International Nurses Conference at Sri Ramachandra University and the Sixth Collaborative International Conference at Global Hospital, both in Chennai, India.

Undergraduate students completing a medical/surgical clinical participated and presented at both conferences, while engaging in clinical experiences in intensive care units at both hospitals.

Global-2_Pg7_150During the January trip, the CON, in partnership with Global Hospital’s nursing leadership, dedicated the Kelvin Momanyi Guest House Library.

Several years ago, the faculty had met Momanyi, a teenage boy from Nigeria, who was receiving treatment for a spinal injury. Momanyi befriended many nursing students during the two-week stay.

One day, he looked disheartened as the group loaded the bus to go shopping at a local mall. Knowing that it would be impossible to move his wheelchair, faculty and students asked what they might bring back as a gift. Momanyi asked that they bring him back a book.

The next day the faculty noticed him sitting under a tree reading his book. His aunt said he had been up all night devouring the pages and shared that she had not seen him this happy in some time. Inspired by the sight of Momanyi and his book, the idea to create the guest library began. The library has been dedicated to Momanyi and global children everywhere who “travel from the corners of the earth seeking better health.”

Those interested in donating children’s books to the library (in Arabic, English, French, Hindi and Tamil) or in helping pay for the cost of shipping books, please send an email to conmainoffice@uwosh.edu.

 

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