The student and faculty exchange programs at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS) are a core component of our WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Human Resources Development and Patient Safety.

Student Exchange

Our student exchange program develops human resources by teaching participating students important patient safety skills and enhancing their transcultural knowledge base to make them effective future leaders in the nursing field.

The objectives of the student exchange program are to provide nursing students, who range in level from undergraduate to post-graduate, with the opportunity to:

  • observe the practice of nursing of a country other than their own
  • gain knowledge regarding the healthcare system of a country other than their own


International student visits are constructed as two-week observerships and include:

  • classes in nursing theory
  • participation in simulation learning at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies’ state-of-the-art International Academy for Clinical Simulation and Research
  • observation of the clinical facilities on the University’s Miller School of Medicine campus and the University of Miami Hospital
  • observation of clinical care and practice at the off-campus hospitals and clinical settings of our WHO CC’s clinical community partners


Our School has international student exchange agreements in place with hospitals and universities in Taiwan, Spain, Chile, Mexico, Haiti, Australia, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. During the last year alone, (Oct 2011-Oct. 2012), our WHO CC hosted students from throughout the PAHO region and beyond, including:

  • Universidad Andres Bello (Chile; 10 students; July 25-27, 2012)
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica (Chile; 16 students; July 13-29, 2012).
  • National Tapei University of Nursing and Health Sciences (Taiwan; 10 students; June 30-July 14, 2012).


Also during the last year (Oct. 2011-Oct. 2012), University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies students participated in “minimesters abroad” in the PAHO region and beyond, including:

  • Pontificia Universidad Católica (Chile; Nov. 2011)
  • Universidad Alicante (Spain; 17 students and 1 instructor; June 1-17, 2012).
  • Australian Catholic University of Nursing and Health Sciences (Taiwan; 6 students and 1 instructor; July 16-28, 2012).



The evaluation component of our international student exchange program has been expanded into a formal research project composed of exit interviews on program value, expectations/outcome and feelings.  The qualitative data collected will form the basis for a manuscript to be submitted for publication. Our WHO CC has received University of Miami Institutional Review Board approval to conduct prospective data collection consisting of group exit interviews and completion of evaluation forms by the visiting international students. Visiting student evaluations reveal high levels of satisfaction.

Faculty Exchange

Our WHO CC’s faculty exchange program is geared towards the mutual enhancement of knowledge and technical ability in the areas of nursing education, clinical care and research, focusing on country-specific patient safety.  Such network-strengthening activities between our faculty and that of other institutions in the PAHO region typically occur around other pursuits, such as the “Simulation Strategies Workshop for Patient Safety” course, which targets Spanish-speaking nursing professionals, or during our WHO CC’s hosting of the International Patient Safety Experts’ network meeting.
During the last year alone (September 2011 to October 2012), our WHO CC hosted faculty and other public health officials from throughout the PAHO region and beyond, including:

  • Martin Luther Universitat Halle-Wittenberg (Germany; 1 faculty member; Sept 4-28, 2012).
  • Pontificia Universidad Catolica (Chile; 2 faculty members, July 13-29, 2012)
  • Universidad Andres Bello (Chile; 1 faculty member; June 15-July 27, 2012)
  • KOC University (Istanbul, Turkey; 3 faculty members; June 25-July 25, 2012)
  • National Tapei University of Nursing and Health Sciences (Taiwan; 1 faculty member;  June 30-July, 14, 2012)
  • Coordinator, Educational Development Program, Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, Secretariat for Multidimensional Security, Organization of American States (May, 2012).
  • Minister of Medical Services, Republic of Kenya (April 23, 2012).