Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing


International exchange and cultural immersion is becoming a favored way to educate nursing students on cultural diversity and cultural sensitivity. There is no research literature about student nurses rendering health care in a third world country after the turmoil of a natural disaster.

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to discover the lived experience of student nurses who provided health care relief to victims of Hurricane Mitch in Nicaragua. Their oral descriptions were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim. These descriptions were then analyzed using the Giorgi method. Four focal meanings emerged: a) culture shock, b) adjustments, c) lessons learned, and d) memories. The synthesized structural description of the lived experiences emerged as stages sequential in time. Nursing can utilize this research information to understand and develop strategies that enhance student nurses' cultural competency and cultural sensitivity.


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