Office of International Programs

Travel - Nursing in Cuba

Nursing:Community Health in Cuba

NUR 322: USM In-Class Sessions: 1 credit course during fall semester

NUR 329/399: Travel Portion: 3 credit course during winter session, travel dates: January 2-17, 2018


*NUR 329 fulfills the community health partnership requirement, prereqs are CON 356 and NUR 323/325

*NUR 399 is a nursing elective for students who have not yet fulfilled the prereqs


The University of Southern Maine School of Nursing is excited to offer a unique Community Health Partnership course for fall semester 2017 (1 credit) and winter term 2018 (3 credits) in Cuba. The fall semester will consist of 7 class meetings to prepare for the trip, and the winter semester will be travel to Cuba. 

We are fortunate to partner with the schooner Harvey Gamage for the Cuba portion of the course. This is a 131 foot traditional wooden schooner which we will be living aboard for the duration of the trip.

During the trip students and nursing faculty will have time ashore in various locations including Havana, Cienfuegoes, The Isle of Youth, and Trinidad. 

Community Health activities in Cuba may consist of the following (but are subject to change): 
*Observing and gathering information on delivery of healthcare in a communist country with socialized medicine and observation of the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary levels of health care in Cuba. 
*Community service work including visiting an orphanage. 
*Presentations by the University of Cienfuegos School of Nursing with an opportunity to meet nursing staff and students, and tour hospitals.

During the fall semester, students will develop a presentation or poster on a health care topic to share with nurses and nursing students in Cuba. Students will also develop a health assessment tool to be used as reference while in Cuba. Students will explore international health issues specific to Cuba and other Latin American countries and gain a better understanding of environmental, socio-cultural and political factors which effect health and healthcare in a communist country with socialized medicine. Students will participate in assessing health risk factors present in Cuba and plan health promoting activities specific to identified health issues. Students will gain understanding of medicine as practiced in Cuba, a country with a world wide reputation as a model of healthcare. Students will also examine the unique health needs present in Cuba, and problem posing and formulation of solutions as part of their coursework. Some work in basic Spanish may also be integrated into the fall semester.

The January trip to Cuba will be multidisciplinary - other departments from USM are invited to bring their students to take part in the trip as part of their own coursework. This will allow for collaboration in community assessment across discipline. Last year there were students from nursing, and from the Tourism and Hospitality department on the Harvey Gamage. This year, we are hoping to broaden that horizon and include even more students from other disciplines.

Role of the Harvey Gamage: 
We have the unique opportunity to have the Harvey Gamage as our platform for this Community Health Partnership experience. The boat will serve as a vessel to transport our group to various remote locations that are otherwise difficult to access by land. In addition, it will act as our home and “safe place” to gather each day to debrief and discuss. The boat will be sailing, motoring or at anchor - in other words always in motion. While on board during the day and night, students are expected to assist the crew of the boat with sailing the boat, cleaning the boat, and standing watch in 4 hours shifts. Living together on the boat will promote team work, group bonding, and a work ethic related to running the schooner. As many of the nursing students expressed after the trip last year, these are all lessons applicable to nursing work. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to view Cuba from this novel perspective. While underway on the HG, there will be appropriately related discussions with reading and writing assignments led by faculty.

This trip is not recommended to those who suffer from motion sickness. However, no previous sailing experience is necessary! Just a great “can do” outlook on life, a sense of adventure, and a flexible attitude. 


Meg Clews, MS, FNP-C 



The application is due by June 30, 2017.

A complete application includes all of the following:

  • Signed, completed application form*
  • $200 non-refundable deposit (applied to the program cost)
  • Typed 200-word essay
  • A letter of recommendation from a faculty member or academic advisor
  • Official copy of USM academic transcript

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. You will be notified by e-mail of your application status. If your application is not accepted, the nonrefundable deposit will be returned. If the program is canceled for any reason by the USM, all deposits will be returned.

*If you are having trouble downloading the application, please contact us at (207) 780-4959 or and we will send you one. You may also want to try upgrading to the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Tuition and Fees

The approximate program fee is $3,200 plus tuition. This fee includes international airfare, accommodation, scheduled in-country travel, academic programming and cultural activities, most meals, and iNext's comprehensive insurance plan. Tuition and fees are an additional cost.

All participants will be automatically registered for a payment plan. The $200 deposit will go toward the cost of the program and the remaining balance will be due as follows:

50% of the balance due TBD
Remaining balance due TBD