Nursing leaders from two baccalaureate programs share perspectives regarding nursing education and practice in Brugge, Belgium.

Judy Van Nuffelen, Faye Uppman, Nancy Boucquez, Ines Van Turnhout

Faye Uppman, Dean of the Bachelor of Science in nursing program at Globe  University/Minnesota School of Business, visited the nursing program at Katholieke Hogeschool Brugge – Oostende in May 2012 and spent valuable time with nursing leaders of the baccalaureate program, pictured in the photos, discussing nursing education and nursing practice.

The world of nursing is relatively small, as Ines Van Turnhout, nursing leader of the baccalaureate program stated, “We have the same problems, opportunities and challenges in education worldwide”.

Both programs educate nurses who are first entering into practice and experience similar challenges related to a shortage of nursing faculty and securing clinical learning opportunities to meet the needs of students.  In addition, both Belgium and the United States have workforce demands for qualified nurses in order to meet the needs of the public.

Judy Van Nuffelen, Faye Uppman, and Nancy Boucquez

The potential exists for programs to work together to educate students for their roles as nurses. Goals and outcomes of each program, although worded somewhat differently between the two countries, reflect the role of the nurse as providers of competent and holistic care in varied healthcare settings and for individuals, families, and communities.

What became evident to me through the discussion, states Uppman, is that nursing, as a profession, does not have geographical boundaries. The goal of nursing and nursing education is the same worldwide, promotion of care to those who require the expertise of a nurse and the ability to provide learning opportunities to assist in the role development of students to that end.