Gaining Perspectives of International Nursing Experiences: a Survey of Registered Nurses
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Many nurses travel internationally and provide nursing care around the world. The current literature provides evidence that international nursing experiences have numerous positive outcomes. Understanding the positive impacts and the challenges of the international nursing experiences can lead to a greater awareness of the benefits that come from these experiences. This study examines the experiences of nurses who have travelled and practiced nursing internationally. Using the qualitative survey, I sought to understand 1) Why nurses participated in international nursing experiences 2) How international nursing experiences affect a nurse’s personal and professional developments and 3) The role that reflective practice plays in the international nursing experience. Hearing the perspectives of nurses who have participated in international nursing experiences is crucial in order to enrich the current understanding and awareness. This study gave nurses an avenue to express their feelings regarding their experiences. The findings of this study may lead to nurses being recognized and supported more throughout their international nursing experiences. This recognition and support may eliminate some of the challenges that nurses face that in turn may lead to great, more successful international nursing experiences in the future that will continue to produce positive outcomes for health care in general. The similarities and differences revealed, throughout the data findings and the literature review, facilitate gaining a deeper understanding of the positive impact and challenges of international nursing experiences. The experiences provide a positive impact to those in the host location, to the nurse themselves and to the nursing practice in their home health care institution. This evidence provides a perspective that could continue to have a positive impact on health care should health care institutions respond appropriately.