Four nursing students and a professor from Nanjing Medical University in China arrived at Indiana Wesleyan University on Saturday (January 14) for a 12-day visit to gain firsthand knowledge about nursing practices in America.
The delegation from China is the first group to participate in the IWU School of Nursing’s new transcultural student exchange program, according to Dr. Barbara Ihrke, dean of the Nursing School.
“Because nursing treatments in the United States vary from those in China, this visit will enrich the vision of what nursing is for our guests,” Ihrke said. “They will be able to observe how culture impacts health and healthcare.”
Host families in Grant County will provide housing for the Chinese delegation, with the exception of the January 20-22 weekend when the visiting students will stay in IWU residence halls.
In February, another group of five students and one faculty member from Shenyang Medical College in China will visit IWU. Two groups from the IWU School of Nursing will travel to the Nanjing and Shenyang institutions in May.
Dr.Sharon Schulling, who teaches in the Graduate Studies in Nursing Division, also will lead a group of nurse practitioners to Baotou, China, in May.
Development of the exchange program with Chinese nursing students began in May 2011 when Ihrke, Schulling and Dr. Jeanne Trudel visited nursing schools and hospitals in China. Trudel is associate vice president of Strategic Initiatives in IWU’s College of Adult and Professional Studies.
IWU’s relationship with the Chinese medical schools was facilitated by Dr. Michael Carmichael, who serves as an IWU trustee and has a daughter who attends IWU, and by Dr. Peter Burgos, a physician in China, who has three children at IWU.
Carmichael, a cardiologist in Florida, also practices medicine in China. Burgos is executive director of an organization that trains doctors for family practice in China.