Kathy Magilvy, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Ernestine Kotthoff-Burnell, PhD, APRN, FAANP, from the college participated in the exchange agreement between our sister school, Yamagata Prefectural University of Health Sciences Department of Nursing in Japan, and the University of Colorado College of Nursing. Every fall, our sister school has sent a small group of students to Denver for one week of lectures and visits to health care facilities and hospitals in the area. This past March, the Yamagata nursing department invited two of our faculty to provide lectures and an international experience for their students.
“Because Japan has the fastest growing older population in the world, they requested someone with expertise in gerontology,” Magilvy says. Kotthoff-Burnell provided these gerontology lectures including “Care for Older Adults” and “Geriatric Nursing in the U.S.” Magilvy offered general nursing lectures including “Introduction to the CU College of Nursing,” “Advanced Practice Nursing in the U.S.” and “American Nursing: Current Trends and Issues.”
These educators were also able to attend some observational experiences: “We visited an elementary school, meeting with the school nursing department and having lunch with the first graders. We also visited the Prefectural Deputy Governor-Health Minister who was highly involved in the disaster relief efforts following the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. On the third anniversary of the earthquake, we visited a survivor support center and watched the national memorial service on television,” Magilvy recounts. “Finally, since we are both very interested in aging, we were honored to visit one of the top nursing facilities for older persons that included adult day care, short-stay nursing home, and long-stay nursing home.”
To experience Japan’s culture, the pair visited a Buddhist temple, visited a castle and participated in a tea ceremony, among other things.
“One of my favorite side trips was a lovely multi-course washoku, or Japanese traditional style, luncheon meal at an onsen, or hot springs, resort where we enjoyed a hot springs bathing experience,” Magilvy says.
Magilvy and Kotthoff-Burnell also received an unexpected highlight to their already special trip: they were able to meet up with one of their former students, Masako Terada, who, after earning her master’s degree and post-master’s certificate in adult gerontology, returned to Japan. The three ladies explored Tokyo together, prior to going to Yamagata City by bullet train.
“Everyone we met was extremely hospitable and welcoming to us. They cared for our every need and provided outstanding experiences beyond lectures and conversations. I think as visitors we gained far more than we contributed!”