Lisa Philbin and Gretchen Smithy participated in Marquette’s new nursing-centric study abroad program at University College Dublin.
Launched in the spring 2012 semester, the program blends academic courses with observation experiences at various health care sites in Ireland. This approach makes it possible for nursing students to study abroad without falling behind in Marquette’s rigorous nursing curriculum.
“We saw a birth and shadowed for a day at National Maternity Hospital for our midwifery course,” Philbin says. “We also spent time at Saint John of God Hospital, Lucena Clinic, and the National Drug Advisory and Treatment Centre. Seeing these different environments made me want to learn as much as I can about health care around the world so that I’m able to care for my patients in a variety of settings.”
Smithy sees a big benefit in meeting people and making connections in another health care culture. “Now I have a perspective on the nursing profession in the United States and in Ireland as well,” she says. “I would definitely consider working abroad after graduation if I were to get the opportunity.”
What Philbin and Smithy experienced — and learned — doesn’t surprise Dr. Kerry Kosmoski-Goepfert, R.N., associate dean of undergraduate programs in the college.
“Nursing students who participate in this new program are introduced to differences that exist in nursing care, patient expectations and health outcomes from a global perspective,” Kosmoski-Goepfert says. “Students also tend to find that being immersed in another culture helps them better understand their own.”
After their Irish spring, Philbin and Smithy will enjoy a Milwaukee summer spent completing clinical rotations and preparing for their senior year at Marquette. — LCS