Published May 13, 2009
I am a portuguese nursing student thinking about taking advantage of the Erasmus exchange students program within europe. I spoke to the professor responsable for the program at my school, and asked her what she thought of doing a semestre in a UK university. The professor told me that in order for my university to consider it, I'd have to first submit the names of schools/universities I'd be interested in, and also a brief description of that school/university's program. There needs to be similarities between the study plans in order for the exchanged to be approved on my university's side, at least...
That's where I found a small problem. UK nursing is based on a higher (university-level, I mean) education, just like the portuguese one. However, portuguese nursing degrees are 4 years long, and we come out of those 4 years with the title of Generalist Nurse. In the UK, it seems that things are slightly different. For one, the course is 3 years long, with only one common year. The other two years are specialized in an area of nursing care - Adult, Mental care, Pediatrics or Disabilities, if I'm not mistaken. I'm really unsure of how to conjugate this with the portuguese system. I believe that the easiest would be to consider exchanging to an Adult Nursing course, but I am unsure...
I'll be doing the exchange on the last semestre of the course. My school's plans for that last semestre are completly clinical-practice-based, as far as I know. We are required to have clinical placements in a community-setting and in a specialty setting (this could be done in a health care centre for community, and I assume in any ward, but I could be mistaken). We had a community-based clinical placement in our first year of the course, whereas in the second year we had clinical practice in a general medical ward and in a surgical or specialty ward (I did mine in an ortophedy/surgical ward). During our third year we are placed in a pediathrics ward, as well as in a mental health service and in an obstetric ward/delivery room. So, as you can see, we go through a wide array of experiences in clinical practice, all of them backed up by a semestre (or more) of theory.
I wouldn't feel comfortable going into Pediatrics nursing, however, as that is not something I wish to persue, and neither is Ob nursing or mental health nursing. So in this sense, Adult Nursing would make the msot sense for an exchange program. However, I'd liek to know what is generally required of final-year nurses in that branch? What techniques are they meant to implement? What level of supervision are they granted?
Do any of you have experience with or as foreign exchange students? I'd love to hear experiences about it as well. :)
Lastly, I'm still pondering all my options. If the study plans are incompatible, I'll look into other countries with which my uni already has deals - it's just that I'd really like to spend a semestre in england, as I am quite in love with the country (regardless of how expensive everything is over there).
Thanks in advance for any input you might have. I hope the post is intelligible, and that I didn't ramble too much...
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