C. Eugene Allen Award for Innovative International Initiatives (III)

Award recipients Carol Flaten and Chris Mueller with Gene Allen

2018 Recipient

Carol Flaten and Chris Mueller, School of Nursing, UMTC

Carol Flaten and Chris Mueller were instrumental in the development of a first-of-its kind study abroad program for nursing students in a partnership between the UMN School of Nursing and the University of Limerick in Ireland. Through this program, UMN Bachelor of Science in Nursing students will be able to study abroad for an entire semester at a host university, while participating in a clinical practicum. This has never before been possible for nursing students at UMN, and is currently not offered at any other undergraduate nursing program in the state of Minnesota. Carol and Chris, with partners in the Learning Abroad Center, faced a difficult challenge with differing rules as well as cultural and academic differences in a health care environment in another country.

The program has already proven to be popular. In its first semester in fall 2018, the program will run with full enrollment and a waiting list. For those chosen to participate, the impact will be enormous. Giving these young professionals the opportunity to participate in healthcare delivery in another system will make them more competitive applicants after graduation, as they will be in a position to offer new ideas and new ways of providing care, as a direct result of this opportunity.

This initiative within the School of Nursing is another example of the University of Minnesota setting a trend for others to emulate. Carol and Chris’s innovative work has proven that even nursing students can experience the benefits of a semester abroad in an integrated environment, and we dare others to follow.