After eight class sessions on Irish healthcare and culture throughout the spring 2017 semester, six nursing students – sophomores and juniors accompanied by Maryanne V. Lieb MSN, RN, clinical assistant professor and Tamara M. Kear PhD, RN, CNS, CNN, associate professor – visited Ireland May 13 – 27 for an International Field Study in Nursing. Aside from growing in their cultural sensitivity and understanding of similarities and differences in the U.S. and Irish health care systems, they saw the universality of nursing.
During the first week, they attended classes at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) in the Department of Nursing and Midwifery Studies. Classes were taught by several members of the faculty, all of whom were engaging and inspiring. The content of the classes illustrated the commonalities of nursing while pointing out differences in Ireland.
The various specialty areas of nursing appealed to different students within the group and included the discussion of end of life issues, health care disparities, midwifery, acute care, nursing in the community, and mental health nursing. The group heard a firsthand perspective from a young man with a history of mental illness who was treated in the Irish health care system and now speaks with communities and health care professionals for the purpose of promoting change where needed and encouraging effective treatment modalities. He also composes music and performed one of his songs for them.