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University of Iowa News Release

April 19, 2004

Nursing Students Participate In Educational Exchange Program

Nursing students from Mexico, Canada and the University of Iowa College of Nursing are participating in an international exchange in Iowa City April 16-24 as part of a program that uses web-based instruction and exchange to raise awareness about how appreciating cultural differences can positively affect health care outcomes.

Ninety students took an international collaborative online course called "Cultural Expeditions in Nursing" last fall. Now, some of those classmates will meet. Four students from Mexico and two from Canada arrived in Iowa City on April 16. The UI nursing students depart on their leg of the exchange on May 14, with three traveling to Mexico and two to Canada.

There will be a reception for all of the students on Monday, April 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Nursing Building on the UI campus.

While in Iowa, the students, who already spent time at the University of Missouri-Columbia Sinclair School of Nursing, will observe clinical settings, attend class with UI nursing students and take part in all aspects of Midwest life. Students from the UI will have similar experiences at their host colleges in Mexico and Canada.

"We've got a variety of activities planned, some work, and some social," said Tess Judge-Ellis, assistant professor (clinical) of nursing, who is coordinating the visit.

"The students have a chance to experience another culture first-hand and get a real understanding of how beliefs and values can influence health care choices. We hope they leave here with experiences that enhance their nursing practice and that our students will benefit in the same ways by visiting Mexico and Canada," she added.

The University of Missouri-Columbia Sinclair School of Nursing is the lead institution on the program, called Collaborative Learning Across Borders: Partnering Nursing Students, Faculty and Communities. The program is part of the North American Mobility in Higher Education Project, which is sponsored, in part, by the Fund for Improvement of Post-Secondary Education of U.S. Department of Education.

Other partnering institutions include: Dalhousie in Nova Scotia, and University of Prince Edward Island, in Canada; Autonomous University in Nuevo Leon, Monterey; and Autonomous University San Luis Potosi, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Nursing, 101 Nursing Building, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

MEDIA CONTACT: bonnie-mcintosh@uiowa.edu, 319-335-7003, bonnie-mcintosh@uiowa.edu