Frequently Asked Questions


Are the clinical sites available outside the US?

There are core competencies students in advanced practice nursing programs must meet. If there is a site outside of the US at which you can receive the experiences necessary to meet your course objectives and with an approved preceptor, it is possible to do this. However, there are several other steps that are necessary before an international site can be approved. The first step is to discuss your interest with your specialty program director.


Can I go on a short-term service or volunteer medical mission trip (not supported by Vanderbilt) and count it for clinical?

Whether a volunteer trip can count toward a clinical course is up to your specialty program director. It will primarily depend on whether you are seeing the population specific for your specialty, supervised by an approved preceptor, obtaining experiences needed for the course objectives, and functioning in the advanced nursing practice student role. Taking the time during a semester to provide service like this may impact completion of your required courses in a timely way. It is possible, but you would need to find out what the potential impact would be before making the decision to participate.


Are there courses in global health I can take?

Yes, VUSN offers NURS 470 as an elective for doctoral level credit and this course may count towards the global health certificate. Also may be taken as an elective for Doctoral students and MSN students. Additionally, there are interprofessional courses you can take through Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health as well as Owen School of Business. Some are scheduled in a blocked format, face-to-face, and a few are offered in a distance format. For more information, see the Vanderbilt Global Health site.


Why are medical students able to take electives at no additional cost, but nursing students are charged additional tuition?

The method of tuition is different between the two schools. Medical students pay a global tuition fee no matter how many courses they take, and it is very large. Nursing students pay tuition based on credit hours enrolled. Stipends may be available. Please check with the VUSN registrar.


Are there any study abroad opportunities?

  • Project Pyramid is a 3 module interprofessional course offered through Owen Business School with a mission to help alleviate global poverty. It includes a joint seven-week course between Owen and The Vanderbilt Divinity School (in collaboration with the Cal Turner Center for Moral Leadership) culminating in an international trip. Nursing students are encouraged to enroll in this course. See  the Project Pyramid page for more information.
  • There are other courses in development in which credit will be earned. These will be posted and distributed as they become available.


Are there opportunities in the US to care for newly immigrated populations?

Absolutely, and we highly encourage you to consider these opportunities. Talk to your program director to express your interest.