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Student nurse exchange deal with US university

ACU signs student exchange agreement with Washington uni, writes Annette Blackwell

Nursing students from Georgetown University in Washington DC will study in Australia under a recent agreement signed with an Australian university.

Two students from Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies will come to the Australian Catholic University (ACU) in Sydney and nursing students from ACU will go to Georgetown. The second year students will go on exchange for one semester.

ACU said the plan was to start the exchange agreement with Georgetown in semester two, 2012.

The agreement was signed in Washington in November by ACU vice-chancellor Professor Greg Craven and the dean of the Georgetown school, Martin Iguchi.

Founded in 1789, Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic, Jesuit institution of higher learning in the US.

The university’s School of Nursing and Health Studies was established in 1903. Originally named the Georgetown University Training School for Nurses, it was created to educate nurses for work in Georgetown University Hospital.

The diploma program was expanded in 1944 to provide a five-year nursing baccalaureate program. Study comprised two years of general education followed by three years of nursing.

An integrated four-year baccalaureate program with a nursing major was established at Georgetown in 1951. That same year, the school was established as an independent school within Georgetown University.

Nearly 50 years later, in 2000, the university's board of directors approved a name change from the School of Nursing to the School of Nursing and Health Studies.

Announcing the agreement Craven said that Georgetown University was one of the leading academic and research institutions and “one of the most obvious similarities between our universities is the correlation between things like social justice and the dignity of the human person”.

He said ACU and Georgetown had common assumptions: “If you have common assumptions and different applications that seems to provide the most fruitful possibilities for collaboration.”

Craven told Nursing Review that: “When two great universities in the Catholic tradition separated by 17,000 kilometres but united by a philosophy of care and intellectual cross-pollination work together, anything is possible.”

Professor Michelle Campbell, executive dean of the ACU faculty of health sciences, said she looked forward to welcoming the Georgetown students to Australia.

ACU has six campuses: Brisbane, Melbourne, North Sydney, Strathfield, Canberra and Ballarat.

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