Educational Innovations 

Videoconferencing Expands Nursing Students’ Cultural Realm

Jean M. Pirkey, MSN, RN; Janet A. Levey, MSN, RN-BC, CNE; Shirley M. Newberry, PhD, RN, PHN; Pamela L. Guthman, BSN, RN, BC; Judith M. Hansen, MS, RN

  • Journal of Nursing Education
  • October 2012 - Volume 51 · Issue 10: 586-590
  • DOI: 10.3928/01484834-20120823-01


Nurse educators struggle to provide culturally diverse community health clinical placements that cultivate cultural awareness, knowledge, and competence among baccalaureate nursing students. Public health nurses observe that many new nursing graduates lack the fundamental knowledge, skills, and affective behaviors necessary to work with culturally diverse populations. To address this, nursing faculty from two schools partnered to strategize, design, implement, and evaluate a community health assessment project using the instructional method of videoconferencing. The goal was to maximize students’ exposure to and engagement with geographically and demographically dissimilar populations. Through videoconferencing, students from two distant schools were able to exchange and actively discuss their community health assessments. Videoconferencing gave students the opportunity to exchange community assessments and perceptions augmented by technology and guided through faculty networking. This article describes a piloted teaching strategy by which students performed and exchanged their community health assessments from diverse populations to enhance their cultural awareness.

Ms. Pirkey is Coordinator, Community Outreach, ProHealth Care, Waukesha; Ms. Levey is PhD student, Marquette University, Milwaukee; Ms. Guthman is LEAP Education Practice Liaison, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Nursing, Madison; Ms. Hansen is Executive Director, Wisconsin Center for Nursing, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Dr. Newberry is Professor, Department of Nursing, Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota.

This project was funded by Alverno College (Wisconsin) and Winona State University (Minnesota). Additional support was provided by the Division of Nursing, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services under DHHS/HRASA D11HP07731, Linking Education and Practice for Excellence in Public Health Nursing. The authors thank the nursing students from Alverno College and Winona State University who participated in this project.

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Address correspondence to Jean M. Pirkey, MSN, RN, Coordinator, Community Outreach, ProHealth Care, 725 American Ave, Waukesha, WI 53188; e-mail:

Received: June 08, 2010
Accepted: May 23, 2012
Posted Online: August 23, 2012



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