A Cross-Cultural Comparison of U.S. and Irish Health Care Systems


Nursing 414: Professional Nursing Role, 3 credits (CRN 40786)


For Nursing 414: NRSE 413.    This course is only for nurses in the RN-to-BSN program.


A limited number of $300 scholarships will be available on a competitive basis to matriculated CCSU students with a GPA of at least 2.50 who are registered for at least one of the academic courses associated with this program.

The Republic of Ireland and the United States offer a study in contrasts with respect to public health care, particularly the care of marginalized groups, such as children, persons with mental disabilities, immigrant populations, and more recently the victims of human trafficking.  Through decades characterized both by poverty and relative affluence, the United States has developed policies and care regimes for these groups that have been characterized as “progressive” by their advocates and as “dismal failures” by their critics. The principal goal of this course will be to expose our students, through a series of colloquia and lectures, to the Irish perspective, fueled as it is by a history characterized by the massive emigration associated with the Famine, political upheaval over the status of Northern Ireland, membership in the E.U. and the economic boon of the Celtic Tiger that has drawn large numbers of immigrants from Eastern Europe and Northern Africa to Ireland, and most recently the economic instability associated with the global recession.  Our interaction with the faculty and students at the University College of Dublin School of Nursing will allow us to compare our respective (and developing) approaches to the care of marginalized groups, and to critique our own policies and the American ethos of health care from a very different historical and cultural perspective.

Our students will bring with them an understanding of the health care issues confronting immigrant communities and victims of human trafficking, and they will have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with their Irish counterparts concerning the extent of these problems and the manner in which they are being addressed within the Republic of Ireland and the European Union. UCD School of Nursing will present lectures as part of their nursing early summer program on Comparative Health and Nursing Systems.  Students will also have the opportunity to meet with Marion Walsh, Executive Director of Ireland’s Anti-Human Trafficking Unit in the Department of Justice and Equality.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN) Essentials of Baccalaureate Education which frames our nursing curriculum emphasizes that students should (1) be provided with local, national, and international experiences (Essential I), (2) communicate with recognized leaders to solve health care problems (Essential II & VI), (3) review proposed legislation affecting health care (Essential V & VIII), (4) explore the costs and availability of care options for underserved patient populations (Essential V & VII), and (5) compare one or more health care systems in other countries with the U.S. system (Essential V).  This course abroad includes each of these essential components.

After reading Sarah Burke’s Irish Apartheid: Healthcare Inequality in Ireland and examining health care issues connected with local and international human trafficking, students will be prepared to discuss these issues with faculty, students, and public health administrators in Dublin. 

The major learning outcomes in the areas of knowledge, attitudes, and skills that I expect my students to achieve during this Course Abroad experience are:
(1)     An understanding of diversity of values, beliefs, ideas, and world views;
(2)     An understanding of their own culture and its relationship to the rest of the world;
(3)     A curiosity and openness toward new opportunities, ideas, and ways of thinking;
(4)     An awareness of ethnic and cultural differences; as well as
(5)     An ability to think critically about international topics.

Through their conversations with UCD’s faculty and students, our students will be exposed to a range of health care topics some of which are indigenous to Ireland, whereas others, such as the health problems associated with involuntary human trafficking or with increased demands for immigration, are of a global nature and require a global response.   Students will be able to compare the emerging U.S. and Irish/E.U. health care systems within a context of the broader issues that arise from globalization.

Registration Information and Program Costs

The cost of the travel program includes round-trip airport transfers in the U.S. and abroad, economy-class international airfare, multiple-occupancy accommodations, and ground transportation and entrance fees to all required site visits. All personal expenses (i.e., meals, medical, souvenirs, laundry, telephone, etc.) are not included.  

Course tuition is not included in the Course Abroad program fee.  Tuition for Spring Course Abroad programs may be included in a full-time student's tuition, if the student is carrying no more than 18 credits.  Excess credit fees apply to all students carrying an overload.  Part-time students must pay course tuition and registration fees.  See the CCSU Bursar's website for complete information about tuition and fees.

Note to students from Eastern, Southern, and Western Connecticut State Universities regarding the Connecticut Reciprocity Program:

Under the terms of the State College/University Reciprocity Program, full-time students (graduate and undergraduate) may, in certain circumstances, take courses at another state college or university without paying additional tuition.  This policy is applicable to ECSU, SCSU, and WCSU students registering for Spring Course Abroad programs offered by CCSU.

To request consideration under the Reciprocity Program, visit the Registrar’s Office (or the Registrar’s website) on your home campus and obtain a copy of the appropriate Request for Reciprocity form.  Complete the form and submit it to your home campus’s Registrar for review and approval.  After the form has been approved by the home campus Registrar, you can submit it to the CCSU Registrar’s Office at the time of registration for the coursework connected to the Course Abroad Program.  The Registrar will process your course registration and forward your approved Reciprocity Agreement to the CCSU Bursar, who will waive the course tuition and registration fees for the program.  The CIE Travel Program fee is not waivable under the Reciprocity Program and will be charged.

Fulfillment of the University's International Requirement: 

All credits earned overseas on a CCSU-sponsored study abroad program, including courses offered in conjunction with Course Abroad programs, automatically receive "I Designation" and count toward fulfillment of the University's General Education International Requirement.

Registration Form

Registration Deadline:

December 1, 2013


$2,795 per person

Travel Dates

March 13 - 23, 2014

Faculty Director

Prof. Meg Levvis
Nursing Department
(860) 832-0184

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