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Experiences of nurse educators of international nursing students : an interpretive description study Crockford, Gail


Background: Nurses are increasingly migrating to Canada for higher wages and better working conditions that exist in their own home countries. With this increase, higher education institutions across Canada have adopted education programs to facilitate the migration process for internationally educated nurses (IENs). However, nurse educators are challenged with teaching students of different cultural backgrounds and learning needs. Research Design: This qualitative study aimed to gather information on nurse educators' experiences who have taught international nursing students (INS) to improve teaching and learning practices. Semi-structured interviews of INS nurse educators were conducted at a rural Canadian college that adopted a program to support international nurses to gain a nurse specialty. An Interpretive Description methodological approach was used to examine and apply the data to ensure the findings applied to the nursing discipline. Findings: Four thematic statements were constructed from these interviews: learning the learner, experiencing moral uncertainty in my role, inviting reciprocal relationships, and finding our way. Described in these themes were: the experiences of participants as they were trying to understand who their new learner was and how to effectively teach them when confronted with issues related to cultural safety; the uncertainties participants had about integrating INS into the school, community and workplace; the benefits experienced by educators by becoming better global citizens through the cultural knowledge gained and relationships they built with their INS; and the nurse educators’ determination and dedication to the program, students, and themselves. Discussion: This study's findings indicate that INS nurse educators at a Canadian college felt unprepared to teach INS. They experienced moral uncertainty in witnessing equity issues faced by INS, such as inadequate academic and psychosocial supports, discrimination, and de-skilling. The desire to ensure INS were given value in their education was necessary for educators to overcome the moral uncertainty from INS's equity issues. Furthermore, educators also sought to overcome challenges to bring forth the intercultural exchange potential that a nurse program for INS may bring to Canada and the students’ home countries.

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