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BluGolds without borders

| Jan Adams, Jill Hecker Fernandes

Nursing students participated in two panels as part of the BluGolds Without Borders: Sharing Experiences Across Disciplines program sponsored by the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Latin American Studies Program and Department of Languages. The program took place on April 21, 2016 in Davies Center. Students discussed their immersion experiences at Holy Family Birth Center in Texas, migrant farm clinicals in Wisconsin, and El Salvador.

Nursing professor, Dr. Jill Hecker Fernandes, noted that, “the profession of nursing is experiential. We are "hands on" with patients and families. Within the College of Nursing we strive to create high impact experiences that allow students not only to move out of their comfort zone, but to create an experience that will impact them not only as students but registered nurses for the rest of their lives. “

Many undergraduate nursing students are Spanish minors or Spanish for health care minors. They can benefit from international and domestic multicultural clinical immersion experiences which promote cultural competencies.

The typical immersion process begins weeks prior to leaving with readings, discussions, and films to develop knowledge of culture and history. Students work to develop and prepare projects based on community health promotion and education. This includes community assessment, examination of outcomes, and healthcare concerns.  Students soon come to realize that the outcomes of clinical immersion are successful when they gain insight and experience in an attempt to become more culturally competent rather than trying to “fix” another culture.

The goal of the panel discussions was to provide a venue for students from the College Of Nursing and Health, to share their experiences with students from the Department of Latin American Studies and the Department of Languages so that possibilities for partnerships to develop high impact experiences both domestic and abroad can be explored.


Professors, Dr. Lisa Schiller and Dr. Rita Sperstad spoke about their programs in Wisconsin and Texas and Dr. Fernades participated in the El Salvador discussion.  College of Nursing students who presented related to Texas and El Salvador, include:
Johanna Bautch
Quinn Bradley
Shawna Finnegan
Mackenzie Flores
Haley Housh
Kyle Kackman
Nicole Lauffer
Allison Miller
Karen Nakano
Kelley Peterson
Hannah Pitz
Eva Riedesel
Leah Rolfzen
Kaitlyn Troge
Courtney Walin