Aim : The purpose of this phenomenological study is to reveal how senior staff who have engaged in the development of a transnational nursing curriculum make sense of the opportunity.
Background : Merging two, country specific curricula for a dual award bachelor degree nursing program, taught exclusively in China through ‘flying faculty’ model is an innovative way to deliver a global nursing education. As with any innovation, lessons can be learned through reflection, to streamline future institutional investments which are responsive to country specific needs.
Methods : Four senior staff involved in curriculum development were recruited through purposive sampling. Semi structured interviews were undertaken to elicit data on their experiences during the merger.
Discussion : Five main themes were key to participant’s sense making during the curriculum development process. These were: managing and overcoming differences in expectations and pedagogy, meeting deadlines, engaging stakeholders and the need to think creatively. All participants revealed there had been a significant learning curve during the process, and highlighted the benefits of this in their own development.
Conclusions : Participants perceived transnational education curriculum development as complex. They cited differences in learning, teaching, pedagogy and quality processes as factors to address and identified the most crucial elements to success, were communication, mutual engagement, meeting deadlines and the ability to think creatively. Their continual efforts to understand systems and processes allowed them to make sense of this complex undertaking.