Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and Worcester State University Announce an Opportunity for Nursing Students to Study Healthcare Practices in Ireland

Worcester, Massachusetts—The Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and Worcester State University are pleased to announce an academic exchange program for students enrolled in the nursing program at WSU. The program will provide an opportunity for nursing students to gain a unique cultural perspective on health and healthcare delivery in the Republic of Ireland.

The program will take place over approximately 10 days in late May of 2015. Participating students will experience nursing education at the Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) in County Donegal. Academic and clinical experiences will include time at the Letterkenny General Hospital, the North West Region’s acute general and maternity hospital; home visits with Irish District Nurses; clinical experiences in local health centers known as ‘surgeries;’ and visits at community health agencies, such as a hospice and a rehabilitation center.

This partnership is the result of trips made to Ireland by Chamber president and CEO Timothy P. Murray and WSU president, Barry M. Maloney. “Healthcare is a major sector here in Central Massachusetts and it’s a natural fit for the Chamber to partner with Worcester State on this academic exchange program,” stated Mr. Murray. “The Chamber’s Business-Higher Education Partnership program is laser focused on retaining our graduates and to ensuring Worcester’s place as an international city.”

“Our students increasingly see themselves as citizens of the world and we are pleased to offer this opportunity for a global experience,” stated President Maloney. “Our nursing students are among the best and the brightest and this academic experience will enhance their understanding of international healthcare and expose them to another provider system thereby expanding their depth of knowledge.”

The collaboration has been wholeheartedly embraced on both sides of the Atlantic. According to Michael Heaney, Director of Development Donegal County Council, “The partnership with Worcester State University is a very welcomed development. Donegal County Council is looking forward to working in co-operation and assisting in the consolidation and further development of this opportunity for mutual benefit over the coming years.”

“We are looking forward to the arrival of the nursing students from WSU,” stated Paul Hannigan, president of Letterkenny Institute of Technology. “Not only will their studies here in Ireland provide them with an important clinical experience, they will also bring another perspective to our LYIT nursing students. These academic exchanges provide unique learning opportunities that give students an academic and career advantage. We think there are many more opportunities in other areas of study.”

Mr. Murray agrees, “Our goal is to expand this exchange program into other academic areas and to host LYIT students here in Worcester. This is a great start to what promises to be a long and beneficial partnership between these two institutions of higher education and their respective economic development and business organizations.”

This academic exchange opportunity is a program offered through a partnership between the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and Worcester State University to facilitate academic, cultural, and economic opportunities between Massachusetts and Ireland. This academic exchange is expected to lead to more exchanges in a variety of academic disciplines.

This program is part of the Chamber’s efforts to develop strategies to promote economic development in the region through import / export trade agreements, additional educational partnerships, cultural exchanges, and other strategic efforts. Seven countries have been identified as prime areas for such partnerships: Germany, Canada, Ireland, Ghana, Taiwan, Israel, and Mexico. These international efforts are part of the Chamber’s ongoing strategy of Recruit, Retain, and Incubate.