Nursing Students from Tokyo Visited the University of Washington

TMDU Students at Bothell Campus
Nursing students from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University from left to right: Hiroki Hirai, Nozomi Kagenishi, Mirei Takahashi, Aiko Shoji, Aoi Daigo, Mana Kurikawa, Ayane Nishizuka

A group of nursing students from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) visited the University of Washington (UW) Bothell and Seattle as their study abroad program. They spent about two weeks in the Pacific Northwest to experience what it is like to be a student at UW and learn about the healthcare system in the United States.

Hiroki Hirai is a Ph.D. student at TMDU supervised by Dr. Akiko Kondo, professor of nursing at TMDU. Hirai’s research interests include DEI (Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion) issues, particularly in the LGBTQ+ community. He visited the Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at UW Bothell and learned about their service. He also talked to Dr. Ching-In Chen, Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at UW Bothell, to learn more about historically underrepresented voices and stories.

Nozomi Kagenishi, Mirei Takahashi, Aiko Shoji, Aoi Daigo, Mana Kurikawa, and Ayane Nishizuka are undergraduate nursing students enrolled at TMDU. They and Hirai started their program with the campus tour at UW Bothell coordinated by Natalia Dyba, Director of Global Initiatives at UW Bothell, and met students enrolled at UW Bothell. 

Those nursing students visited various healthcare facilities, such as the Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical Center, Nikkei Manor, and more. When they visited the Harborview Medical Center, they joined the Nurse Residency Program and learned about various topics, including evidence-based practice (EBP), appraising the evidence, and clinical skills, such as traction, chest tubes, and blood transfusions.

C. McCarthy teaching students
Christine McCarthy, MN, RN, NPD-BC, Acute Clinical Care Clinical Nurse Educator at the Harborview Medical Center, teaching lower extremity skeletal traction clinical skills to Nozomi Kagenishi and other nursing residents. McCarthy is a recent graduate of the Master of Nursing program at UW Bothell.

Kosuke Niitsu, PhD, ARNP, PMHNP-BC is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing & Health Studies (SNHS) at UW Bothell. He invited TMDU nursing students to his graduate nursing class. In his class, Kurikawa delivered a presentation and introduced the Japanese nursing education system to UW students. On another day, Niitsu invited local nurses who are bilingual in Japanese and English and hosted a special lecture for TMDU students.

Japanese Nursing Students Discuss Healthcare Systems in US
1st row (left to right): Eiko Nagatani, BSN, RN at Overlake Medical Center Manami Honda, DNP, ARNP at Harborview Medical Center Sun Kim, DNP, ARNP, AGACNP-BC at University of Washington Medical Center Kosuke Niitsu, PhD, ARNP, PMHNP-BC at University of Washington Bothell Sachiko Oshio, PhD, CNM, PMHNP at University of Washington Seattle and Nadeshiko Women’c Clinic Haruka Furusho, MSN, RN 2nd row from left to right: Ayane Nishizuka Aiko Shoji Hiroki Hirai Mirei Takahashi Mana Kurikawa Nozomi Kagenishi Aoi Daigo Akiko Kondo, PhD, RN, at Tokyo Medical and Dental University Miyuki Watanabe, BSN, RN, at University of Washington Seattle (DNP program) Manatsu Okada at University of Washington Seattle (BSN program)

Akiko Kondo, PhD, RN, is a professor of nursing at TMDU. Kondo and Niitsu have been working together on a variety of projects, including Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL). Mabel Ezeonwu, PhD, ARNP, FNP-BC is a professor of nursing at UW Bothell, and Ezeonwu and Kondo are former classmates in the PhD program at UW Seattle. Kondo, Ezeonwu, and Niitsu strengthened their relationships and collaborations between TMDU and UW over the years. TMDU nursing students visited other classes taught by UW Bothell faculties, including Dr. Mabel Ezeonwu, Dr. Jody Early, Dr. Linda Eaton, Dr. Sunita Iyer, Dr. Stoerm Anderson, and Professor Hiroshi Miyamoto. Each TMDU student had an opportunity to deliver their presentations in front of UW Bothell students.

TMDU nursing students also had an opportunity to visit UW Seattle and meet renowned faculties in the School of Nursing. For example, they met Basia Belza, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA, and learned about the de Tornyay Center for Health Aging that Dr. Belza directs. 

Each TMDU student reflected on their learning experience at UW:

  • Hiroki Hirai: “This program provided a valuable opportunity for me to gain a deeper understanding of my own research field and to think about my career plan and future research by interacting with researchers related to my research field.“
  • Nozomi Kagenishi: “The study abroad program at UW was a busy but very fulfilling one, as we attended undergraduate and graduate lectures, gave presentations, met with nursing research professionals, participated in training for new nurses at the university hospital, and toured hospitals, educational facilities, and Japanese-affiliated aged care facilities, Nikkei Manor. Through the program, I was able to meet many wonderful people, including professors and students from the UW and nursing staff at the university hospitals. I was inspired by their strong belief that they want to provide higher quality nursing care and contribute to the health of people around the world, and by their continuous efforts in research and practice in their respective fields of expertise. I feel that it was very meaningful that I was able to spend 17 days in a different environment, reflecting on myself and thinking about my future goals.”
  • Mirei Takahashi: “Through this program, I could learn interestingly about the differences in medical care between the United States and Japan. Based on this learning, I would like to pursue better ways of nursing in Japan. I am grateful to everyone involved in this program for giving me valuable learnings.”
  • Aiko Shoji: “By actually going to the U.S. and hearing and seeing firsthand, I was able to learn how people in the U.S. live and access medical care, which was a very good experience. It was also interesting to learn about the work of NPs that are not in Japan. I will definitely make use of what I learned through this program in the future.”
  • Aoi Daigo: “This program made me understand the depth and diversity of nursing research. I believe that by combining these research results of researchers with various research themes, we will be able to bring about meaningful changes in the health and welfare and nursing industries. Research is the material for bringing about social change. After realizing this, I started to think that I wanted to become a person who creates the materials for change in the future. I am grateful to the program and everyone involved for helping me rediscover my career potential.”
  • Mana Kurikawa: “In this study abroad, I was very interested in differences about nursing education for both students and first year nurses, works of nurses and facilities in the medical field between the U.S. and Japan. There were many things I would like to introduce to Japan, especially, I was very impressed with NP. I would like to thank everyone involved throughout this visit. It was a great opportunity to expand my career in the future.”
  • Ayane Nishizuka: “During my time at the University of Washington, I had the privilege of witnessing the passion and dedication of both the professors and students towards the field of nursing. This experience has allowed me to recognize the potential of nursing to make a positive impact on the future of healthcare. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those involved for providing me with this invaluable opportunity.”

“Students were able to have a great experience thanks to UW faculty and staff”, said Akiko Kondo, professor of nursing at TMDU who created this study abroad program. Kondo continued, “Thank you for allowing our students to attend and give a presentation in the classes at the Bothell campus, and giving special lectures at the Seattle campus. Thank you for allowing them to attend the Nurse Residency Program at the hospital, and introducing and guiding the hospital facilities. Thank you for having your busy time with our students on campus and even at home. They will never forget your kindness. Hopefully, they will come back to the United States to study or work in the future”.