Taking part in Nordic collaboration; nursing students' experiences and perceptions from a learning perspective: A qualitative study

Margareta Westerbotn, Åsa Kneck, Olav Johannes Hovland, Malene Elrond, Pedersen Ingrid, Gun-Britt Lejonqvist, Johild Dulavík, Tove Ecklon, Inga-Lill Nilsson, Árún K. Sigurdardottir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Nordic networking of different kinds has a long tradition aiming to increase collaboration and under-
standing between citizens in different countries. Cultural competence in relation to health care and nursing is
important for clinical nurses and is a central issue in nurse education.
Objective: To gain an understanding of what nurse students experienced and learned during an intensive course
in diabetes together with students and nurse educators from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the
Faroe Islands.
Methods: In 2012, an intensive course within the Nordic network, Nordkvist, was conducted in Faroe Islands with
the theme “Nursing — to live a good life with diabetes”. To answer the objective of the study, 26 students con-
ducted written reflections based on two questions. The data was analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
Results: Through meetings with nurse students and educators from the Nordic countries the intensive course
strengthened the students' identification with the nursing profession. The students gained new perspectives
on diabetes, such as how complex it can be to live with a chronic illness. Because of the difficulties in understand-
ing one another and because of different mother tongues, the students gained a better understanding of patients'
vulnerability in relation to hospital jargon and how it felt to be in an unfamiliar place.
Conclusions: The intensive course increased the students' personal and professional growth, cross-cultural
competence, and their identification with nursing. Students' understanding of health care in the Nordic countries
improved as similarities and differences were recognized
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)712-717
Number of pages6
JournalNurse Education Today
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2015


  • Cultural competence
  • Diabetes
  • Exchange students
  • Intensive course
  • Nordic collaboration
  • Nurse education


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