MYHRE K. (2011) Exchange students crossing language boundaries in clinical nursing practice. International Nursing Review58, 428–433
Aim: This article examines challenges and learning outcomes for nursing students from a Central European university of applied sciences who completed 3 months of clinical practice in Norway. The clinical practice was supervised in English by Norwegian nurses and nursing teachers. English is not the primary language in any of the countries.
Background: Increases in global migration have contributed to the need for an international dimension in nursing education. Personal mobility is a crucial part of the European Union's goal of becoming a knowledge society. Clinically based experiences pose challenges that are additional to and often more complex than traditional course-based experiences. Students who come from a non-English-speaking country for clinical practice in Norway face challenges regarding language. Accepting incoming students is a way of achieving higher quality and more relevant education in nursing.
Findings: The study shows that clinical practice in a foreign country gives added value compared with clinical practice at home. Greater self-confidence and understanding of core concepts in nursing is described by the participants. Language differences are not regarded as a problem but as a way of developing personal and professional competence. The ability to compare healthcare systems in the two counties is important in developing competencies in nursing.