BACKGROUND: In recent years, many ASEAN countries, including Malaysia have embraced Transnational Higher Education (TNHE) post-registration top-up nursing degree programmes. These are bridging programmes that allow registered nurses to upgrade their diploma qualifications to a degree level.
PURPOSE: To investigate the teaching and learning experiences of Malaysian nurses on Transnational Higher Education post-registration top-up degree programmes in Malaysia.
DESIGN: Hermeneutic phenomenology and the ethnographic principle of cultural interpretation were used to explore the views of eighteen Malaysian nurses from two UK and one Australian TNHE universities (determined by convenience and snowball sampling methods) to ensure data saturation. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in English and Bahasa Malaysia (Malaysian language) to enable nurses' voices to define, describe and evaluate their TNHE classroom experiences.
DATA ANALYSIS: Data were analysed using thematic analysis.
FINDINGS: The nurses' experiences within the short one or 2 weeks TNHE intercultural teaching and learning environment identified four categories: language and teaching and learning issues; TNHE degree requirements, guidance and support; shock and coping strategies and acclimatisation. They suggest there was a conflict between the assumptions and expectations of the TNHE 'flying faculty' and nurses' about the programme of study. There were also mismatches between Western and Malaysian pedagogical preferences, guidance and support, and professional values.
IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION/PRACTICE: There is a need for TNHE 'flying faculty' to internationalise the theoretical knowledge to reduce cultural incongruities and dissimilarities. Cultural immersion will stimulate intercultural views and knowledge to equip nurses for promotional and/or global opportunities whilst enabling the 'flying faculty' to create new learning environments. The research provides insights to inform TNHE provider institutions to improve teaching and learning to enable nurses to make the theory-practice connection.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.