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Nursing and Health Care in Costa Rica: An Interprofessional Perspective


San Jose, Costa Rica

Program Description

In this nursing and healthcare professions course, students from various majors will explore the health needs and the health and human services delivery system in Costa Rica, as well as the history, culture, and beauty of this Central American Country. Students will examine issues that impact health in the U.S.A. and Costa Rica and the roles of health care professionals in the delivery of healthcare. This immersion experience includes home stay with a host family and Spanish language study. 

Courses will be taught in Costa Rica, primarily in San Jose. Students will work with Costa Rican healthcare workers at hospitals and clinics in San Jose and the surrounding community. Spanish language classes are held in a classroom and taught by language instructors.

-All students will take NSG 490.

-Practicing nurses who are part of the RN-BSN program will take NSG 490 (2 credits) and NSG 490L (1 credit) for a total of 3 JMU credits.

Location Description

San José is the capital of Costa Rica and the nation's largest city. Located in the Central Valley, San José is a large city, the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of this Central American nation.

Located in Costa Rica's Central Valley, San Jose is close to rainforests, national parks, biological reserves, rafting rivers, colorful sandy beaches, open-air markets, shops, a wide variety of restaurants, coffee houses, art and music festivals, and museums. The population of San José Canton is 365,799, comprises a third of the country's population, and is considered to be one of the safest, purist, and less violent cities in the region.


Tammy Kiser | | Nursing

Marjorie Scheikl | | Nursing


This immersion experience includes home stay with a host family. Transportation to all program activities will be provided.

Students will receive breakfast and dinner in their host family accommodations. Lunch will be provided for the entire group. On excursions and over the weekends students may need to pay for their meals.

Additional Items to Consider

All students must provide a copy of their passports and immunization records.

It is strongly suggested that the student have a basic knowledge of conversational Spanish. All students will improve Spanish speaking ability.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

RN-BSN students must be enrolled in NUR469 concurrently

This program is best intended for Pre-Professional Health programs.

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short essay 
  • Interview with Program Director may be required
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

Program Full - Accepting WAITLIST applications only.

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Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


NSG 490: Special Studies in Nursing: Nursing and Healthcare in Costa Rica- An Inter-professional Perspective (4 credits)

NSG 490: Special Studies in Nursing: Nursing and Healthcare in Costa Rica- An Inter-professional Perspective (2 credits) *For RN/BSN students only

NSG 490L: Community Clinical Health Practicum (1 credit) *For RN/BSN students only

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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