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William F. Connell School of Nursing


connell school global experience

Boston College students studying in Switzerland in June 2013 take time out to enjoy the scenery.
Boston College students studying in Switzerland in June 2013 take time out to enjoy the scenery.

We are pleased to announce that NURS5350, “Global Healthcare: Meeting Challenges and Making Connections” will be offered in the summer of 2014. This four week summer elective brings together students and faculty from Boston College, Switzerland and Chile to learn collaboratively about issues on the forefront of global health.

NURS 5350 June 2-27, 2014
3 credit elective-graduate or undergraduate level

This course brings together students and faculty from around the world to discuss and synthesize perspectives on global health, specifically the challenges and common connections experienced across patient centered care, health education, healthcare systems and policy development. The participants will develop a deeper understanding of the particular needs of diverse and underserved populations. Emphasis will be placed on social justice and health of individuals, families and populations. Through the lens of public health, this course explores assessment of healthcare needs, assurance of a quality healthcare infrastructure and development of healthcare policy.

This course is offered at Boston College and in Switzerland in alternating years. Students participating in the summer 2014 course at BC are offered priority registration for the June 2015 course in Switzerland. Please contact Cathy Read at to be placed on the information listserv for this course. Registration will be open in April.

Connell School students and faculty have participated in several collaborations with universities in Switzerland since 2010. An official Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Cutberto Garza, provost and dean of faculties at Boston College, and Anne-Catherine Lyon, state councilor/minister for education, youth, and culture, Vaud canton, that formalized cooperation in academic exchanges, program development, and research while establishing official guiding terms and principles of collaboration between the two institutions.

In the summer of 2010, six undergraduate nursing students and two faculty members participated in a Summer University program held in Lausanne, Switzerland. The program brought together nursing faculty and students from Switzerland, India, Singapore as well as California and Boston College, to discuss issues such as healthcare politics and policies, caring for an aging population, dying with dignity and autonomy, and adolescent mental health issues. Students were also exposed to the Swiss culture through participation in local activities and events like the Montreux Jazz Festival, Olympic Museum and Old City tours in addition to time spent in the classroom.

The Connell School hosted the program in the summer of 2012. Colleagues from Switzerland joined CSON faculty and staff in a month-long immersion course focusing on healthcare quality and safety, examining global ethical perspectives, exploring issues of violence around the world, and comparing different country’s approach to end of life care across the lifespan. This widely successful program was featured in the Connell School's Voice magazine.

In the summer of 2013, fourteen Boston College students and five CSON faculty participated in the month-long course in Lausanne. The theme of the course was healthcare for vulnerable populations, and topics such as violence, assisted suicide, addiction and aging were addressed from a global perspective. Students also had the opportunity to participate in a hospital clinical experience and tour many historic and natural sites throughout Switzerland. Read student reflections »