Day 8 – Evidence-Based Earrings

Today was our first day at Cathinka Guldberg-Senteret nursing facility. We had a wonderful time learning from the Norwegian student nurses/preceptors that we were partnered with. One thing that we found interesting was how they changed their rule about wearing earrings. Originally, they were told that they could not wear earrings. However, my Norwegian partner told me that a study showed that people who were used to wearing earrings but were not wearing them (because they were not allowed) actually touched their ears more often – so they started allowing people to wear earrings again to reduce how often they touched their ears and improve hygiene and cleanliness. This is a great example of evidence-based policies in action!

Our first day at Cathinka Guldberg-Senteret nursing facility

Janessa with her Norwegian partner Jenny

Sharon with her Norwegian partner Stine (pronounced Stina)

Overall, Norway does an excellent job of Sustainable Development Goal 6: ensure access to water and sanitation for all, and Sustainable Development Goal 16: promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies (Sigma Global Nursing Excellence, 2022). However, today at the nursing facility, there was an issue with the hot water, so we weren’t able to give our patients “real” showers. Luckily everyone worked together and improvised by using cloths wrapped around their hands to bathe the patients, so the patients were still able to get clean without hot water. We’ve noticed that in general, everyone in Norway works very well together, making society feel more peaceful and inclusive.

Halfway through the day, we were able to enjoy a group lunch with the Norwegian student nurses/preceptors that we were partnered with, and we had some great conversations and shared how our days were going. The sense of comradery was very strong, and it really seemed to help the morale. Everyone bonded over the challenges of the day and supported each other – the atmosphere was so understanding and encouraging, and everyone felt included and heard, which is another example of how well Norway achieves Sustainable Development Goal 16: promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies (Sigma Global Nursing Excellence, 2022).

Janessa and her Norwegian partner coincidentally brought identical yogurts for lunch

Enjoying a group lunch with the Norwegian student nurses/preceptors that we were partnered with


Sigma Global Nursing Excellence. (2022). United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Free Weekend – Fun at the Fjords!

We had such a wonderful weekend in Norway! On Friday afternoon, we headed to the Oslo airport, picked up our rental cars for the weekend, and drove 4.5 hours to Aurland, Norway. We drove through a very, very (very!) long tunnel – and later found out that it (Laerdal Tunnel) is actually the longest road tunnel in the world! How fun that we got to drive through it! We reserved some cabin chalets for the night, and we collapsed in bed at the end of our long week and long drive.

Very excited that we got free upgrades for our rental cars

Ready for our roadtrip

Driving through Laerdal Tunnel, the longest road tunnel in the world

On Saturday morning, we woke up ready to explore! We took some O-H-I-O pictures (because who could resist that beautiful backyard view) and went to the local Bakeri & Kafe. We had a delicious lunch with scenic views of the fjord, and we made the short drive to Stegastein Viewpoint for even more scenic views. It was breathtaking! A few of us hiked nearby, and a few of us went to explore the towns of Aurland and Flam. We ended the day playing shuffleboard in the hotel lobby. What a lovely, lowkey afternoon and evening to recharge from a busy week. On Sunday, we’ll drive back to Oslo, with a detour to see Voringsfossen waterfall. Stay tuned to hear more about our adventures!

Buckeye Pride in Aurlandsfjord, Norway

Some stunning views at Stegastein Viewpoint

Big smiles at Stegastein Viewpoint

Always thinking about our wellness – time for yoga!

Exploring the towns of Aurland and Flam

Day 3 – Nurses on Wheels & Rooftop Views

Today was another great day in Oslo, Norway! We started our day in the conference room at our hotel, Cochs Pensjonat. Last night, each of us found an article about human trafficking, so this morning, we had an interesting discussion about our articles and the populations that were affected in them. Since I am half Chinese, I found an article about trafficking of women in China, and I learned that one of the main reasons for trafficking of women in China is the imbalanced gender ratio, due to China’s preference for boys. This preference for boys has resulted in some families resorting to certain methods to have boys, including gender-selective abortions, infantilizing baby girls, and even outright abandonment or selling baby girls (Xia, Zhou, Du, & Cai, 2020). Coincidentally, another man was sitting in the conference room with us, and at the end of our discussion, he told us that he is an American (born and raised in North Carolina) currently living and studying social work in Finland. He shared that he has extensive experience in human trafficking organizations and campaigns, so we chatted with him for a while and got to hear his unique perspective.

After our discussion in the hotel conference room, we went to see Nurses on Wheels. Nurses on Wheels is an incredible example of Sustainable Development Goal 3: ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages (Sigma Global Nursing Excellence, 2022). Many of their patients are not able to use the regular healthcare system, so the goal of Nurses on Wheels is to make healthcare as easily accessible as possible for everyone. They accomplish this by doing health assessments, distributing clean user equipment, doing wound care, and performing tests for hepatitis C (Nurses on Wheels, 2022). All of us were so impressed learning about this organization and how successful they have been in their goal, as well as how successful they have been in Sustainable Development Goal 3.

Learning about Nurses on Wheels

Learning about Nurses on Wheels and seeing some of the clean user equipment that they distribute

Today was our first day at LDUC campus! We had lunch in their cafe, and then we took a Wellness Walk to explore their beautiful campus more before settling into an afternoon of lectures. Our keynote lecture was given by Associate Professor Åsa Kneck from Sweden. She shared the definition, causes, and effects of homelessness. It was interesting to hear about homelessness in Sweden and the other Nordic countries, and it tied into Sustainable Development Goal 10: reduce inequality within and among countries (Sigma Global Nursing Excellence, 2022). During our other lectures today, we discussed how the Nordic countries really try to focus on reducing inequality within and among their countries, including homelessness, and from our perspective as American students, it seems like they have done an incredible job! They have so many programs with the goal of reducing inequality and homelessness, and I think that there is a lot that we could learn from these countries to hopefully implement in the United States.

Having a wonderful time on our Wellness Walk after lunch

Keynote lecture by Associate Professor Åsa Kneck from Sweden

After our lectures, we met with our project groups. There are 6 students, including me, from OSU, so we were divided into different groups with the Norwegian students. Priya and I are in the same group, and we love the 3 Norwegian students in our group! They were so warm and friendly, and we had a great discussion and chose the topic of Drug Use for our group project. We came up with some ideas for our project, and then, all of the international students had a pizza social in the LDUC cafe. We had a wonderful time talking with the other students from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Belgium. Then, it was time for bed, so we would be well-rested and ready for our next day in Norway.

Meeting with our project groups on the roof at LDUC

The view from the roof at LDUC


Nurses on Wheels. (2022). Spleis.

Sigma Global Nursing Excellence. (2022). United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Xia, Y., Zhou, Y., Du, L., & Cai, T. (2020). Mapping trafficking of women in China: Evidence from court sentences. Journal of Contemporary China, 29(122), 238-252.