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International Service Learning in Midwifery and Nursing Education


  • Linda V. Walsh CNM, PhD

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Linda V. Walsh, CNM, PhD, FACNM, is an Associate Professor at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing, San Francisco, CA.

Linda V. Walsh, CNM, PhD, University of San Francisco, School of Nursing, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080.


The health of women and childbearing families is a global concern that must be addressed if we are to be successful in ensuring healthy families. Numerous strategies have been suggested to increase appreciation for the global factors that influence maternal and child health and the overall health status of a community. Inclusion of cultural content in courses offered in educational programs and provision of clinical learning experiences in diverse communities have commonly been used in midwifery and nursing education. This article reviews the concept of service learning and its application in a course that provides an opportunity for students to participate in an international immersion program. Evaluation of the course found that participants increased their knowledge and skills in providing reproductive health care, developed appreciation for the knowledge and skills of traditional birth attendants, and expanded their worldview of women and families in communities.