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International Nursing Week 1: A Visit from Denmark

May 10, 2018

The RRC Nursing department is undertaking a number of international nursing relationships. From Denmark to China, RRC faculty and students are meeting with, collaborating with, and even competing against nurses from around the world. Throughout the month of May, we’ll be highlighting the international activities of our department over the past academic year and the future of RRC Nursing on an international stage. To start with, we have a visit from Denmark, but check back every week this month for new posts!

Last November, the RRC Nursing department welcomed Karen Frederickson, Associate Dean, Head of International Affairs; Lisbeth Sorenson, Head of Nursing Education; and Randi Conti, International Coordinator, from Via University College, a multi-campus post-secondary institute in Denmark. The three Via University College faculty members travelled from Denmark to Canada, meeting with RRC and a college in Ontario, as part of their efforts to form international agreements with Canadian educational institutions.

Karen, Lisbeth, and Randi stayed in Winnipeg for two days, touring the city and RRC with their hosts from our Nursing department. RRC faculty shared the best of Winnipeg with our guests, from the Canadian Human Rights Museum to the Exchange District to Assiniboine Park. Touring around Winnipeg by car, our guests also got to see the major Winnipeg hospitals as well as visit the RRC Main and Notre Dame campuses. At NDC, Karen, Lisbeth, and Randi toured the ETV studio, nursing labs, and sat in on a class for a few minutes. They also visited one clinical site, Norwest Community Health Coop on Keewatin, where the nurses from Canada and Denmark shared their perspectives on primary health care as well as public health practices and research opportunities.

This visit allowed our faculty to discover the similarities and differences of Nursing in Canada and Denmark. From our guests, we discovered we have many similar courses, and both departments are encouraging faculty to further their education and their participation in research. Both RRC and Via University College Nursing departments are also student focused and value student success. We also discovered some differences, such as extended opportunities for students to participate in research at Via University College.

The RRC Nursing Department hopes to continue to foster this international relationship (stay tuned this month to hear more about our progress!) and create opportunities for international collaboration both in Canada and Denmark. The goal of working with an international school fits with the vision of RRC to be recognized for excellence internationally, and any student exchanges created from this relationship also meet with the strategic plan themes of elevating student success and cultivating strategic partnerships. While the Nursing department hopes to expand our international relationships to various educational institutes in other countries, Denmark was the perfect fit as we begin this endeavor. As a widely English-speaking country, minimizing the language barrier helps with planning exchanges and other opportunities. Denmark also shares many similarities with Canada, such as similar social values, similar climate, a strong health and public health system, and a strong social system. We believe we can grow and learn from each other, in both our similarities and differences. International relationships broaden our perspectives and give us new ways of examining the world.

The Nursing department feels very positive about this visit and the opportunities that are being created for the Nursing faculty and students as well as RRC as a whole. We would like to recognize the hard work of Alison Fyfe-Carlson, Cathy Baxter, Pat Gregory, and Dianne Brown in planning and fostering not only this initial visit but the larger international relationship being created. As we move forward, we look forward to more faculty and coordinators as well as students participating in and benefiting from these international opportunities.

Check in next week to hear about faculty from the Nursing Department visiting Denmark!

Post written by Meagen Chorney and Alison Fyfe-Carlson – Nursing Instructors