Developing Korean nursing students' global health competencies: A mixed methods approach to service learning in rural Vietnam

Sangeun Lee, Junghee Kim, Jong gun Kim, Truong Duc Tu, Bừi Thi Thanh Loan, Hyeonkyeong Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Owing to globalization, there is a need for enhanced global health competencies among nursing students. In this context, global service learning programs are important opportunities for nursing students. Objectives: To explore the effect of a short-term service learning program in a developing country on the global health competencies of students attending a South Korean nursing college. Design: A mixed methods design. Setting: The Global Nursing Internship is a two-week pre-experience, eight-day on-site, and one-week post-experience program. Participants: The on-site activities involved 15 nursing students participating in global health activities in a rural Vietnamese community. Methods: A self-reported questionnaire was used to assess changes in global health competencies in six domains, measured on a four-point Likert scale. Student satisfaction with each activity was measured on a five-point Likert scale. After completing the program, the participants wrote a self-reflection essay. The Wilcoxon signed rank test was used to analyze global health competencies, and content analysis was used to analyze participants' self-reflections. Results: Regarding global health competencies, the overall mean score showed a significant increase at the post-program evaluation (Z = −3.41, p = .001). A pre-post-program comparison showed that the domain of “health care in low-resource settings” displayed the greatest increase in scores. The mean overall satisfaction with the program was high (mean = 4.31, standard deviation = 0.17). In the students' view, as expressed in their essays, their global health knowledge and attitude had improved. Conclusions: The program was useful in promoting global health competencies, empathy, and confidence and should be embedded among the essential requirements of nursing curricula. Suggestions are provided to develop an enhanced pre-experience program that could help students prepare better for on-site activities. As cultural competency is crucial for nurses, nursing educators should consider integrating similar global service learning programs into their existing nursing curricula.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104300
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Developing Korean nursing students' global health competencies: A mixed methods approach to service learning in rural Vietnam'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this