International online module for nursing students

Through the online module Globally Networked Learning, VIA’s nursing students are able to gain international experience and new knowledge on their profession without going abroad.

In a collaboration with Georgian College in Ontario, Canada, VIA offers third semester nursing students the opportunity to acquire intercultural competences through an online module. Students from VIA and Georgian College work together to investigate cultural influences on nursing and healthcare by comparing local conditions in their respective countries to uncover similarities and differences.

Transatlantic collaboration

Students work together in groups of 4, 2 Danish students and 2 Canadian students. Students choose a common patient group to focus on – typically basing their choice on the patient groups they already meet in their clinical internships. This way the students have some common ground for comparison.

Then, students interview a patient in each country about life with the chosen health challenge – e.g. living with dementia or diabetes. The group meets online using Zoom, Skype or the like. They compare interviews, care and treatment methods in their respective countries. Finally, the group applies academic literature in the chosen area of interest to arrive at an evidence-based nursing effort which can be applied in both countries.

Intercultural learning

”The project has really opened my eyes to considerations of cultural differences and how to handle these. I do not think it is possible to acquire this awareness by reading a text book. I am positive that I will remember what I have learned when I do my next internship… I actually thought that Canada and Denmark were very similar, and they are, but there are also differences,” one of the Danish students said after the module.

The module has been completed multiple times and students say that it has helped them learn about culture, health, illness and healthcare systems. They have also discovered the international reach of nursing and gained experience in cross professional and inter-sectoral collaboration. In addition, participation has improved the English level of the Danish students and motivated some of them to participate in exchange activities.

Globally Networked Learning