Nursing Students Enhance Skills on Global Level Through Rome Capstone

A partnership with Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore allowed 11 students to gain real-world experience at Gemelli Hospital.
group shot of nursing students in Rome
College of Nursing students complete their capstone projects at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

The University’s global centers each boast a unique mission in their respective international locations, a notion that we will explore in the “Around the World in 80 Days” Nexus series.

For the first time, a group of Jefferson College of Nursing students completed their capstone clinical experiences at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital.

As part of the college’s partnership with Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 11 students paired up with nurses or preceptors to gain hands-on experience in high-impact units, including different intensive care units (surgery, cardiothoracic surgery and neurosurgery) and gynecologic oncology/maternity units. This relationship supports the role transformation from student to provider and promotes clinical competency.

“In the third millennium, patient care has increasing global characteristics, and essential figures, such as nurses, must have a global education to learn the tools for higher quality and efficiency in care through different healthcare systems,” says Dr. Ignazio Marino, executive director of the Jefferson Italy Center.

Students integrate knowledge and skills from previous coursework and clinical practicums to synthesize the scientific process, evidence, clinical judgment and creative problem-solving with capstone experiences like those they would be exposed to in the workforce.

“Improving academic and healthcare outcomes are truly worldwide concerns, and the College of Nursing is assuming an ever-larger role in addressing those global issues,” says Dean Dr. Marie Marino. “For me, this inaugural study abroad program for baccalaureate nursing students is transformative for our faculty and students. There’s no better way to offer experiential learning than to immerse students in an environment that challenges their thinking and enhances their nursing skills, particularly on a global level.”

Recent nursing graduate Alexa Wolff applied for the capstone in Italy to broaden her horizons. “Working in a diverse setting allowed me to develop cultural competency, adaptability and a global perspective on health care,” she says. “These skills are highly valuable in today’s interconnected world and will undoubtedly enhance my future career prospects.”

Nursing faculty served as advisers during the capstone and provided indirect supervision to students. They were assigned to each student and communicated with the student and preceptor throughout the experience.

Improving academic and healthcare outcomes are truly worldwide concerns, and the College of Nursing is assuming an ever-larger role in addressing those global issues.
–College of Nursing Dean Dr. Marie Marino

This was Dr. Megan Mook’s first time working in Italy as a faculty member in a study abroad model. “The most rewarding part was to watch the students grow as soon-to-be RNs while becoming comfortable in a new environment and knowing they will be my colleagues soon,” she says.

Before officially partnering in 2018, Jefferson and Università Cattolica had a seven-year relationship that allowed an exchange of students and clinical research. Professor Giovanni Gambassi, director of Università Cattolica’s graduate medical school, looks to advance the partnership in the future.

“Cattolica and Gemelli Hospital are committed to excellence in education, and we strongly believe in international collaboration,” he says. “After the successful completion of the capstone program by College of Nursing students, we’re envisioning a customized curricular path for nursing students from Cattolica to be exposed to an intensive training experience in Philadelphia.”

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