Offering nursing students' international clinical placement during the educational program is one response to meet the need of cultural competence among nurses. This paper provides insight into the impact of clinical placement, in a developing country, on third year nursing students. In the study we investigated how short term international clinical placement impacted Norwegian nursing students' development of cultural competency.
In this study we utilised a qualitative descriptive design and used individual interviews with eighteen Norwegian nursing students who had all participated in an international clinical placement. The data were analysed using the principles of systematic text condensation.
In spite the international clinical placement only was four weeks, the findings suggested that real life experience culturally awakened the students and forced an ongoing process developing cultural competence. However, it is important to give students time to reflection.
Although increased cultural awareness and a growing cultural competence was identified by the students undertaking international clinical placement, further research is required. It is important to investigate the best methods to support the students' reflection such that the experiences lead to learning.