International Research Center in Cross-Cultural Nursing, 

Nagano College of Nursing

--Background, Philosophy, and Purpose--

Since its opening in 1995, Nagano College of Nursing (NCN) has enjoyed a reputation for establishing and fostering special relationships with distinguished international institutions. Among others, the collaboration with Komagane Training Centre (KTC), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has encouraged us to undertake a variety of projects and activities in international settings. In addition, in July 2001 we developed a collaborative program with the National University of Samoa to exchange faculty members and students, so that we may build an even deeper cross-cultural understanding in theory, practice, and research of nursing and the corollary principles specific to Samoa and Japan. 

Regarding international conferences and professional meetings, NCN has so far sponsored forty-one International Nursing Forums on campus inviting world-wide eminent scholars and leaders in nursing and other disciplines such as sociology as key-note speakers, among whom were, Dr. Lin Ju Ying, the former president of the Chinese Nursing Association, and Dr. Miriam Hirshfeld, Chief Scientist for Nursing of WHO, Geneva. Our faculty members and students also have made frequent contributions to international nursing conferences. NCN held a special symposium session at ICN in 1999 (London) and in 2001 (Copenhagen), and our students attended ICN in 1997 (Vancouver) and in 2001 (Copenhagen) as representatives of Japanese nursing students.

NCNfs international programs continue to grow and develop. One characteristic of NCNfs dramatic growth in the last few years has been the development of an increased number of joint projects in cross-cultural research. In various fields of nursing NCN has conducted international comparative research projects with researchers of Hong Kong, Thailand, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, Brazil, etc. New programs and further joint project opportunities are also under discussion and review. NCNfs sponsorship of international programs attracts researchers and students from around the world. NCN has accepted and hosted short-term and long-term visiting researchers and students from China, the United States, Norway and Denmark. Several of these colleagues came as post-doctoral fellows funded by the Japan Society for the Advancement of Science.

These are just a few examples of our international projects and activities, through which NCN has been able to provide splendid opportunities for our faculty and students to reach more profound understanding of the interconnection between culture and nursing, and, in particular, for our students to significantly enrich their educational experiences and, in the future, to help, as competent nursing professionals, promote health and happiness for all people.

In order to further our educational and academic purposes, we are now establishing an institute which shall be known as the International Research Center in Cross-Cultural Nursing (IRC) at NCN. Its object shall be to promote, encourage, and support 1) nursing as a body of knowledge and 2) cross-cultural nursing practices demanding special cooperation with KTC, JICA. Focusing both on universal foundations of nursing common to different cultures and on its diversity across different cultures, the center aims to develop new knowledge, to disseminate this knowledge, and to enlist NCN faculty and students in the task of serving the global community of which it is a part.


Takako Mitoh 

President of Nagano College of Nursing 

March 19, 2001 

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