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First nurse with international certificate

“It has been incredibly awarding and exciting”, says Camilla Johansen Horten. She is among the first to receive an international certificate in multicultural competence and global perspectives for nurses at UiA.

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Camilla Johansen Horten outside Campus Kristiansand, photo
FIRST: “Even though it requires an extra effort, it is absolutely worth it. You get to challenge yourself more and learn a lot”, says Camilla Johansen Horten. She is one of three nursing students who were given an international certificate in intercultural communication, cultural sensitivity and global perspectives for nurses at UiA before the summer. (Photo: Marianne Knudsen Skjæveland /UiA)

Camilla Johansen Horten completed her nursing education at UiA this spring and now works at the Department for Addiction Treatment (ARA) at the Hospital of Southern Norway.

In addition to her studies, she followed a separate training course on being a nurse in a multicultural world, where the main focus was on intercultural communication, cultural sensitivity and global perspectives for nurses.

Three nurses have completed the training course and have now received a certificate proving that they have valuable additional skills as nurses.

“In my daily work with patients, I clearly benefit from what I learned. I meet people from many different countries and cultures in my job and see that cultural competence in nursing practice is important”, says Horten.

FACTS/ International certificate at UiA

  • The Certificate of International Learning (CIL) at UiA is a collaboration between the International Office, the Faculty of Health and Sports Science and UiA Career Services.
  • The pilot started 3 years ago as part of the ‘Co-creation of knowledge strategy’ and is now in operation with nursing students from all levels participating.
  • Other educational institutions have similar schemes nationally and internationally. This provides opportunities for collaboration and exchange of experience across institutions.

Started in the first semester

Horten signed up to the scheme because she wanted additional skills for humanitarian work abroad. However, one does not have to plan to work abroad or want to go on exchange for the knowledge to be relevant.

“It is nice to have an international certificate when applying for a job after graduation. The scheme is not so well known among employers as this is quite new, but my experience is that they are positive about the scheme”, she say 

“Cultural understanding is important”

One of the activities Horten took part in was an international week in Belgium with representatives from nurse education programmes in several different countries. The participants exchanged experiences of how nursing programmes are organised, among other things.

“Participating in the event made me grow as a nurse and gave me a wider perspective of international nursing and cultural differences. After a week in Belgium, I realised how important culture is for how nursing is practiced”, she says.

“When I complete my education, I may be a nurse, but I'm still not the best or fully trained. I will continue to learn, and having respect for others can help us learn more. The people I have met have made an impression on me and have given me tools that make me a better nurse.” 

Flexible arrangement at UiA

International coordinator at UiA, Sissel Gjennestad, runs the international certificate project. She points out that the experiences students gain from the training course are linked to their education and can bring new perspectives into the student environment.

Sissel Gjennestad, foto

Sissel Gjennestad

“Getting involved in volunteering in the local community contributes to student well-being by including them in various social settings. The university towns also benefit from students who are involved in activities off campus”, says Gjennestad.

Nursing students can register in their first semester and complete three pre-approved activities during their degree, in addition to a workshop from UiA Career Services. At the end they receive a certificate documenting their additional competence and the extra effort they have made.

Head of Department of Health and Nursing Sciences  Mariann Fossum warmly recommends the scheme.

Mariann Fossum, profilbilde

Mariann Fossum

“International certificate is very important to us at the department. It gives us a unique opportunity to create commitment to internationalisation for students who do not want to travel on exchange, but still have an international commitment. It is a great way to bring internationalisation onto campus.”