Health care providers are more than ever challenged to care for patients due to multicultural nature of American society. Studies report that health care disparities widely exist in our health care system and patients of different racial and cultural backgrounds do not receive adequate health care. Nurses are in the position to prevent and eliminate such disparities by providing individualized care to these patients. Nurses must be well equipped with knowledge and training to deliver care that is relevant and within the cultural context of patients they encounter. Studies have identified study abroad program as one of the approaches to prepare nurses to care for the diverse patients. The purpose of this descriptive qualitative study is to understand students' learning experience of immersion into different culture, to identify barriers and critical learning moments. Nine students participated for the study. Using Max Van Manen's qualitative approach, data was analyzed, and nine themes emerged. The study provided insight into students' clinical experience in Ghana. The findings support the notion that immersion experience for undergraduate nursing students is beneficial. More studies targeting the barriers as well as strategies to improve study abroad program is encouraged.


Hans-Peter DeRuiter

Committee Member

Sue Ellen Bell

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing


Allied Health and Nursing

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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