I have been fortunate to have several experiences in global citizenship, especially since this is an important feature of nursing and being able to deliver culturally competent care.

During my Spanish 201 class and Becoming Global Citizens class, I was able to demonstrate emerging realization of myself as a member of the American culture. In Spanish class, I felt out of place and awkward because my professor only spoke Spanish the whole time, and I quickly realized what it felt like to be a part of different culture other than my own. In the Becoming Global Citizens class, we discussed what it means to be a part of the American culture and more importantly what it means to be an American. Moreover, in Spanish I was able to ask simple or surface questions about the Spanish culture with my classmates and professor. Also, I demonstrated beginning understanding of the Spanish culture based on my brief encounters with my classmates and professor. Lastly, I was able to develop in levels one and two of the communication competency through having an emerging understanding of cultural differences of both verbal and nonverbal communication and through practicing my Spanish and connecting the language and the culture.

In the Becoming Global Citizens course and reading the book of Henrietta Lacks, I was able to develop in Level 2 in Self-Awareness through showing emerging awareness of the varied contexts and boundaries of my own culture and the cultural rules and biases that exist. In the Becoming Global Citizens course, I realized that Americans are more independent than most other countries. Moreover, the story of Henrietta Lacks explains how African Americans were taken advantage of due to the racial biases that exist against them and unfortunately, African Americans were used inappropriately in research. Becoming aware of how the American culture functions compared to others cultures whether they be around the world or within the United States, made me realize the cultural rules and biases that I have developed as a result.  

The Becoming Global Citizens course allowed me to progress further through the self-awareness competency of the rubric in levels three and four. Through this course, I was able to recognize new perspectives about my own cultural rules and biases and compare and contrast my own culture with other cultures. In this class, we had the opportunity to examine the Germanic Europe Cluster in comparison to American Cluster. The countries included were the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. It was interesting to see how the Germanic Europe Cluster is more team oriented whereas the United States is more autonomous. Also, the course allowed me to perceive my personal style, prejudices, projections, and habits of mind that both shape and impede my own understanding and I was also able to show why my understanding of other cultures is so difficult for me. We had the opportunity to attend a workshop that informed us of the racial biases and prejudices of African Americans. In the workshop, I identified any racial prejudices I have towards African Americans and was able to reflect on why I feel that way. Overall, I realize that I will never fully understand the racial inequalities that exist against African Americans, but I am fully aware of any biases that I withhold and how to make sure they do not interfere with my interactions.

My clinical experiences have allowed me to move through several competencies in the global citizenship rubric. I was able to meet level two of the knowledge and understanding section which explains that I am able to ask questions about other cultures that result in complexity of elements important to members of another culture through increased interactions with others. In my clinical, I have worked with both Somali and Hispanic families. Through my interactions, I was able to ask them questions if they were able to speak English; otherwise, I would ask other nurses questions about their culture and medical situation. It was a culturally enriching experience to interact and attempt to communicate with these families and try to understand their culture. Moreover, I was able to meet level two and three of the communication section of the rubric. Through an increased practice with Spanish, I was able to recognize and participate in cultural differences between both verbal and nonverbal communication. Since I was not completely fluent in Spanish, I used short Spanish sentences when communicating with my patient who was Hispanic, but I also had to use nonverbal communication when I or the patient did not have the translation for the word or phrase we were trying to communicate. Also, I have realized that learning a second language is extremely important, especially in healthcare. There are not enough translators for the amount of Spanish speaking patients that are seen on a regular basis. I would like to continue in learning my Spanish so I can provide care and speak with my Spanish speaking patients at the same time.

Lastly, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Austria and Amsterdam during June 2016. Through this experience, I was able to meet level three and four of the knowledge and understanding section of the rubric. The goal of the trip was to understand the difference of healthcare in Austria and Amsterdam compared to the United States. We were able to interact with nurses, nursing students, and professors from both Austria and Amsterdam and ask them questions about their healthcare systems. Basically, the United States healthcare system is much more complex and independently funded than the Austrian system, which guarantees health insurance for all of its residents and is funded through the government. Overall, my study abroad experience allowed me to tie in all the lessons I had learned throughout my prior experiences. I am grateful for the opportunity and being able to submerge myself in a different culture for three weeks.