Strolling across the Anschutz Medical Campus one might expect to see individuals wearing stethoscopes and scrubs. Seeing about two dozen young Japanese women wearing distinct black robes with colorful bands might give you pause.
The CU College of Nursing recently hosted 16 nursing students and six faculty from the Japanese Red Cross Hiroshima College of Nursing. The students who visited here from Japan are not degree students in our programs, but are visiting our College of Nursing (CON) as part of an international course they take with their BS degree program in Japan.
“Colorado has a strong emphasis on evidence-based practice, quality and safety in nursing and health care,” notes Nursing Professor Kathy Magilvy, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Those are landmarks for us. International students may learn about this in their classrooms, but when they come here, they see it in practice in hospitals and learn about it from our expert faculty who give lectures to the visiting students. It expands their possibilities as a nurse.”
July’s visit was the third visit to Colorado for nursing students from Hiroshima. Diane Lenfest, director for the CON International Program explains that these students attended presentations by our faculty, visited University of Colorado Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado, toured the CON Clinical Education Center—Skills & Simulation Labs, in Ed1, as well as CAPE and the Health Sciences Library.
The visit ended with a farewell reception during which the students performed a dance (see photo) in their robes (see photo).
“One of the most important things I think visiting students get from their trips here is exposure to a variety of types of practice and settings that they may not see in their own communities and countries” adds Magilvy. “They get to compare what they’ve been taught to a different world view. We also expose students to the possibilities of graduate education, which enforces what their professors have been telling them about the need for advanced education.”
These visits are a two-way street observes Magilvy, “I also believe that having them here is good for us. During conversations over lunch, in a lecture or during a tour, we learn about nursing practice and education in other countries. We get from them an exposure to global nursing and sharing of cultures.”
This most recent visit really only represents part of a much larger professional exchange program in place for the past three decades provided and managed within CON. Lenfest has worked since 2000 to expand cooperative (exchange) agreements with numerous international nursing schools that offer opportunities for our nursing students and faculty to visit and study abroad.