Graduate Nursing Students Gain Transcultural Perspectives in Rome

Posted on August 16, 2012

This summer, 12 graduate nursing students took advantage of a study-abroad opportunity in Rome, Italy, to gain firsthand experience of nursing and health care from a different cultural perspective.

The students, who were in Italy for a week in June, did fieldwork that included observation and participation of the Roman and Italian culture through immersion.  Part of the experience included opportunities to be observers in private and public hospitals in Rome, where they paid particular attention to the care of victims of violence.

Eleven of the students are enrolled in the School of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, and one is a Ph.D. program student. The DNP students are required to take Transcultural and Global Health Perspectives, a three-credit course.  As with all graduate nursing classes at Duquesne, the course is taught online, but required fieldwork for the course must be completed in a non-US health care system environment.

This year was the fourth time that the study abroad component was offered to students taking the course, though only the second time that a group has gone to Rome. While in Italy, the students stayed at Duquesne’s Rome campus, using it as their base of operations for cultural immersion and touring the hospitals.

Associate Nursing Professor Dr. Rick Zoucha and Assistant Nursing Professor Dr. Melanie Turk, led the student group. According to Zoucha, more than 50 students in the DNP and Ph.D. programs have taken advantage of the nursing school’s study-abroad opportunity to date.

“The hope is that they will better understand the experiences and health needs of immigrants, refugees and people of other cultures in the United States in relation to their DNP and Ph.D. roles,” Zoucha said.

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