Nursing Exchange: University of Tennessee, Knoxville

What got me interested in the Nursing Exchange programme?

Robert Gordon University offers a Nursing Exchange programme to either Houston or Tennessee, in the United States (US). The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in the United Kingdom (UK) adopts best practices from all over the world including the US e.g. the use of both Roper-Logan-Tierney and Orem’s Self-care model of nursing to undertake patient-centered care in the UK.

I felt curious to partake in this cross-institutional collaboration and partnership, hoping it will offer great clinical, academic and cultural experiences to nurture my professional growth and creativity as a Nurse.


My US Experience:

I travelled via London and Iceland, to arrive in New York. Arriving in the US, the weather was perfect for a sun-kissed tan. Furthermore, the US was celebrating their 4th of July Holidays.

New York:

At the Airport, I used the WIFI to inform everyone that I arrived in the US and airport passenger-service staff helped me to organise a tour plan, for exploring Manhattan, New York. I spent my first day in the US, site-seeing around Manhattan with my backpack. The places I went to included Central Park, Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, World Trade Centre, Brooklyn Bridge, and China Town. I had an interesting conversation with people I met along the way, which invoked beautiful emotions in me. It felt nice and bizarre and was captured beautifully by the musician Sting, in his song Englishman in New York.

Later in the evening I boarded a coach to Tennessee and arrived the next morning, a little later than scheduled. I found the locals to be very lovely and they offered me assistance. I was greeted by Megan who had a wide and beautiful smile, whilst holding up a sign with my name on it.

Tennessee – Why I fell in love with it 


Together with UTK students, I experienced so much – too much to mention so I’ll keep it short.

Academic Experience:

  • Accommodation: We stayed in a beautiful and exclusive accommodation on Campus
  • Attended orientation classes – learning about healthcare in the US and factors influencing it (e.g. private insurance, Affordable Care Act etc.) in comparison to healthcare systems across the world e.g. UK (Beveridge), Germany (Bismarck) etc.
  • I Met the Head of School.
  • I experienced their Nursing/Medical facilities and simulation room across the campus

kene 2

Clinical experience:

I went to –

  • University of Tennessee Medical Center
  • Emergency Department – observed turnaround of A&E cases (e.g. Admission, Triage, assessment, Radiology Scan, treatment etc.)
  • Pediatric clinical – Neonatal Intensive care Unit (NICU) – The babies were adorable
  • Cancer Outpatient Clinic – e.g. nursing intervention, medication via portacath etc.
  • A cardiovascular clinic, ward, and surgery (observed a Coronary angioplasty and stent process)
  • Neurosurgery – observed them meticulously remove cancer from a spinal cord
  • Air ambulance Service unit – Met the Crew, Tour the facility, simulated Basic Life Support (BLS) in the helicopter – It’s quite hard as you have little room to move in.
  • Hospital Canine unit – Met the crew and their amazing dogs, got a simulation of the work they do
  • Fitness and rehabilitation unit

Social experience:

  • 4th of July Holidays – the celebration went on for days across the US. I had fun activities all day and ended it off with an American porch experience with my hosts and their friends, watching the fireworks light up the sky
  • Boat ride and swimming in clear water lakes surrounded by fantastic scenery reminiscent of Scotland
  • Visited Nashville – stayed with the heart-warming family of one of my dear hosts – barbeque, museums, off-road buggy rides through the woods, exploring the city – Too much to mention.
  • Home-cooked meals and eating out – You’ve got to have a good Ol’ American dinner experience e.g. Cracker Barrel
  • Dollywood theme park
  • Tennessee World’s Fair Park
  • Country / Line Dancing – courtesy of Payton and her friend (our sensei J )
  • Shopping
  • Indoor and Outdoor Cinema
  • Dinner with academic staff
  • Lots and lots of fireworks


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