Nursing at Penn Medicine

Global Nurse Program: Observational Clinical Experience

A response to worldwide concerns

In response to worldwide nursing concerns, the Nursing Department of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) launched its Global Nurse Program in November of 2003. The program was envisioned at the time, by Victoria Rich, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chief Nurse Executive of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, as an innovative way to help build initiatives that are responsive to global issues in nursing. This commitment to Structural Empowerment involves a culture of continuous learning and educational advancement, which has roots throughout Penn Medicine and extends around the world.

A culture of diversity and inclusion

Dr. Rich appointed Rita K. Adeniran, DrNP, RN, CMAC, NEA, BC, Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Global Nurse Ambassador at HUP, to create a program to expand international nurses' access to innovative clinical experiences and evidence-based nursing models of care. This program also will broaden the hospital diversity initiatives through increased awareness and appreciation of diverse cultural values and perspectives brought by the international community of nurses to further promote the delivery of culturally competent nursing care. Afaf I. Meleis PhD, DrPS (hon.), FAAN, Dean of The School of Nursing University of Pennsylvania, Norma M. Lang PhD, RN, FAAN, FRCN and Barbara Nichols DHL, MS, RN, FAAN provided mentorship and guidance to the establishment of the program. The Global Nurse Program has supported over 400 internationally educated nurses from 30 countries to visit HUP for clinical enrichment, providing an environment for learning and cross-appreciation of different cultures.

An exchange of knowledge, ideas and passion

Many nurses from around the world have participated in the Global Nurse Program's Observational Clinical Experience (OCE). An OCE at HUP enables our international colleagues to intimately observe HUP's Magnet® culture and sophisticated nursing systems. Outcomes include enhancement of international nurses' clinical skills, and the elevation and influence of cultural competence strategies in caring for patients. Globalization and changing patient profiles have made knowledge exchange, cultural contributions and competence an important element in caring for patients globally.

To learn more about visiting HUP for an Observational Clinical Experience, please contact the Global Nurse Program at

"HUP was an amazing experience that I will carry with me the rest of my life."

- Wejia L., Hangzhou, China (2013)

"It is a great opportunity for me, I have learned a lot in this hospital, just like the standardization and innovation. I feel a very large power from the Magnet, that's so meaningful and authentic."

- Jun C., Hangzhou, China (2013)

""It was very refreshing for the nurses to take an interest in me, what my goals were, and how this experience would benefit my future career."

- Fiona S., Edinburgh, Scotland (2012)