International clinical placement – Experiences of nursing students’ cultural, personal and professional development; a qualitative study

Mette Bro Jansen, Dorthe Winther Lund, K. Baume, S. Lillyman, K. Rooney, Dorthe Susanne Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The purpose was to capture the experiences of cultural, personal and professional development during International Clinical Placement (ICP) among nursing students from three European countries.

The paper presents findings based on the analysis of 23 reflections written by students immediately after returning from their ICP. The design builds on a qualitative study using a phenomenological approach and meaning condensation inspired by Kirsti Malterud.

The analysis revealed four themes: Communication and barriers to be overcome, Culture as a serious business, Personal and professional achievements and Challenges and the importance of preceptorship.

The ICP impacted on the participants’ personal as well as professional way of understanding themselves as students and future nurses. A profound difference was seen between the achieved learning outcomes of participants completing an ICP in a high- or low–income country, respectively. Language barriers, the local culture and different nursing cultures were often challenging and pushed participants out of their comfort zone. All participants developed their cultural understanding in accordance with the Papadopoulos, Tilki and Taylor Model for Developing Cultural Competence. Findings indicate that educational institutions should establish well-planned exchange opportunities that adopt a two-way reciprocal (Erasmus) exchange programmes and be aware of the value of an appointed preceptor in the host country.
Original languageDanish
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • nurse

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