For more than 40 years, nurses have been involved in international programs and networks established to strengthen nursing education and research in developed and developing countries. After discussing international educational and research exchanges at the American Academy of Nursing's International Expert Panel, we reviewed the state of the literature about these collaborations to evaluate the results. MEDLINE and CINAHL were searched for papers between 1982-2003 on international nursing education exchange programs. The 79 papers identified and reviewed included, primarily, descriptions of or experiences with the exchanges. Most were written by faculty, even though most exchanges were for students. Most papers were written by persons from only one side of the exchange. Literature on this topic needs to begin including a theoretical basis and review of the literature; more research on and evaluation of the effects of these programs is needed.
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