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Northeastern University Nursing Students Head to Dublin to Explore Public Health Care in Ireland

Study Abroad Program Includes Meeting with Fmr. Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen O’Toole

A group of Northeastern University nursing students and their two professors will spend three weeks in Dublin exploring the public health care system as it impacts vulnerable populations in Ireland, and comparing it to that of the U.S. The group’s itinerary also includes spending a day with former Boston city police commissioner, Kathleen O’Toole, who is now the chief inspector of Ireland’s national police force.

The trip is the second half of a summer term that combines the clinical component with classroom instructions and field assessment in both countries, focusing on nursing care for underserved groups, as well as ethical and other relevant issues in healthcare here and overseas.

“Today, we have to look at public health on an international scale,” says Ann G. Hill, Clinical Instructor at Northeastern University’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences and one of the professors accompanying the students on the trip. “This trip is an invaluable opportunity for our nursing students to learn from top officials and educators of another country about their healthcare system and to get an intimate look at how their vulnerable populations are affected by it.”

During the three week trip (June 1-June 23), the 19 students and their two professors will learn about public health issues, such as poverty, homelessness, addiction, infectious diseases and mental health issues through field visits and face-to-face interactions with those affected by them. They will also have the opportunity to meet with several Irish public health officials and nurse educators to learn about public health policy, as well as standards and practices in nursing care.

“Planning this trip has been a great experience due to the overwhelmingly helpful and welcoming cooperation from our Irish counterparts,” says Margaret Christensen, Associate Professor in Bouvé who’s also accompanying the group to Dublin. “The students are looking forward to this amazing, first-hand learning experience and we hope to get the chance in the near future to show the same hospitality to our visiting Irish friends.”

The students – who had to apply and interview to be part of this program – will be required to record their experiences in a journal throughout the trip, combined with a photo essay and give presentations both in the classroom and at regional nursing forums upon their return.

For more information about this trip or other study-abroad programs at Northeastern University, please contact Laura Shea at 617-373-5427 or at l.shea@neu.edu.

About Northeastern

Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in interdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. The university’s distinctive cooperative education program, where students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major, is one of the largest and most innovative in the world. The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in six undergraduate colleges, eight graduate schools, and two part-time divisions. For more information, please visit www.northeastern.edu.