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COJ Nursing & Healthcare

International Clinical Nursing Leadership Mentoring: Enriching Student's Knowledge

Sharon Elizabeth Metcalfe*

Associate Professor, Western Carolina University, USA

*Corresponding author: Sharon Elizabeth Metcalfe, Associate Professor, Western Carolina University, Asheville, North Carolina 28804, USA, Tel: 828 654-6501; Email:

Submission: January 31, 2018; Published: February 21, 2018

DOI: 10.31031/COJNH.2018.01.000517

ISSN: 2577-2007
Volume1 Issue4


Nurses in today's dynamically evolving health care profession are expected to have the knowledge and expertise for caring for the wide diversity of people that comprise the patient populations in the hospitals and clinical environments around the globe. This article presents a unique and special international program that promotes the acquisition of knowledge by novice nursing students concerning the care of a diversity of pediatric patients through having the mentoring and guidance of nursing clinical leaders. The program has been established for eleven years and is based with two university schools of nursing and two children's hospitals in the United States and the United Kingdom. The purpose of this article is to showcase this program and introduce a vehicle for introducing nursing students to caring for diverse people through successful programs such as this one.

Keywords: International; Mentoring; Cultural diversity; Collaborative programs

International Nursing Leadership Clinical Placements

The profession of nursing has become globally based and nurses are now expected to practice with a wealth of knowledge regarding the increasing diversity of the world's population and emerging cultures [1]. Nurses that practice both in the United States, as well as abroad throughout the world, are learning about the customs of people of multiple cultures and emerging diversities. The Sullivan Report on diversity in the health care professions additionally showcased the need for an increase in diversity of the members in the health professions, as well as for those in the health professions to engage their knowledge in learning and becoming culturally competent in understanding the world's dynamically changing population [2]. Nurses in today's dramatically evolving health care environment must be aware of cultural differences and similarities in patient populations and be prepared for caring for patients from a wealth of cultures, as well as unique backgrounds.

In order to help nursing students to become more culturally competent and aware of global cultural care with pediatric patients, a special and individualized collaborative program was developed between two universities and two children's hospitals in the United States and the United Kingdom [3]. The program's primary focus is to have students from both the United States and the United Kingdom become clinically immersed on a specialized children's unit with the personal attention and mentoring of a clinical nurse leader that would help guide the student in understanding the cultural differences and similarities in both the patients, as well as the nursing care of the children. The purpose of this program is to help broaden the student's knowledge base of the leadership role of the nursing clinical leader mentor, and to enrich the students’ 3 understanding of the nursing profession in clinical areas abroad.

The program was initiated in 2005, and is currently in 2018, and is in its eleventh year of progression. Students are led by nursing leaders in a wide array of diverse patient care wards that range from Accident & Emergency, the Operating Theater, the High Intensity Intensive Care Unit, the Pediatric Oncology ward, the Neurotrauma ward, and Community Outreach which ranges from Palliative Care, Hospice, and Community-based Home Visiting of children in chronic conditions. Again, the primary focus of the program is for the nursing clinical leader to demonstrate leadership abilities and nursing care to the range of nursing students (traditional age to graduate nursing students) that are enrolled in the program. This program is presented each academic year, and students from the United States travel to the United Kingdom over Spring Break, and students from the United Kingdom travel to the United States during the winter break for their clinical leadership immersions. A highlight of this program is additionally that students from both universities present nursing care presentations to their visiting health care professionals at both children's hospitals during the trip.

Topics have ranged from childhood obesity, diabetes, autism spectrum disorder, oncological conditions, and mental illness such as addiction. These presentations are warmly received at each of the children's hospitals with nursing students, professional nurses, and inter professional care givers such as physicians in attendance. Programs such as these helps strengthen the knowledge regarding cultural diversity of patients such as children and the strengths of the nursing profession with novice nursing students as they develop into professional nurses.


  1. Berlund A, Richards J, Lund KD (2010) A Canadian-Bangladesh partnership for nursing education: Case study. International Nursing Review 57(3): 352-358.
  2. The Sullivan Commission (2004) Missing persons: Minorities in the health care profession. A report of the Sullivan Commission on diversity in the health care workforce. Sullivan Commission.
  3. Metcalfe SE (2017) Developing international clinical placements: Enhancing students' awareness. POJ Nursing Practice & Research 1(4): 1-7.

© 2018 Sharon Elizabeth Metcalfe. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.