International Programs in United States Schools of Nursing: Driving Forces, Obstacles, and Opportunities

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To understand the development of international programs in United States schools of nursing from the perspective of driving forces, obstacles, and opportunities.


Despite increasing philosophical support for international programs, significant obstacles to their development, integration, and sustainability exist in schools of nursing across the United States.


A National League for Nursing (NLN) survey collected information on the number and type of international programs being offered, with an emphasis on obstacles to integration.


Driving forces for international programs, identified by 487 responding institutions, included valued program outcomes, a global focus, and limited availability of clinical sites. Obstacles, such as cost, safety, and lack of credit toward a major, were identified.


Suggestions for addressing and overcoming the obstacles are proposed, including the sharing of resources and utilization of the NLN Faculty Preparation for Global Experiences Toolkit. More research is needed to understand the implications for curricula, logistics, development, costs, and sustainability.

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