Background: At Rotterdam University, the Master's in Advanced Nursing Practice (MANP) program requires that all students complete an international experience prior to graduation with emphasis on professional development. Aim: The study sought to allow students to describe the impact of witnessing and experiencing another health care system and its impact on benchmarking one's health care system with regard to its strengths and weaknesses. Method: A qualitative study was conducted using reflective reports, group and individual interviews. Results: Four major themes were revealed: (a) benchmarking one's own health care system (b) world-wide focus (c) similar Westernized health care approaches and (d) learning from each other. Discussion: It should be an essential element in nursing education that students analyze and benchmark their own country's health care system. The nursing profession should be encouraged to be pro-active in influencing the health care system of their country. Looking beyond borders for other approaches within another health care system can contribute to improved patient care.

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Nurse Education in Practice
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Maas, L. G. (2011). Benchmarking one's health care system: Professional development through an international experience. Nurse Education in Practice, 11(5), 293–297. doi:10.1016/j.nepr.2011.01.005