Paula Swiggum


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Professor Emeritus and Professor Emerita in Nursing

Paula Swiggum has a passion for transcultural nursing and the importance of cultural competence in nursing care. From an opportunity to direct a grant to recruit minority students into nursing at Lakewood Community College in 1992 to taking students to Tanzania in 2006 and again in 2008, she strives to give her students a sense of the richness of diverse cultures and the necessity of seeing clients through the lens of culture which defines who they are and how they respond to issues of health and illness.

A faculty member at Gustavus since 1996, Paula has taught a variety of nursing courses including Health Assessment, Adult Health, Child Health and Parenting. In addition, she has taken students to England and Greece as well as Tanzania during January terms. Travels to Cuba and Namibia with Gustavus faculty colleagues has also informed her teaching as the thread of cultural competence and cultural issues in wellness is woven through the nursing curriculum.

Paula and her husband, Phil, live in Eagan and are enjoying the greatest gift of parenting - Grandchildren! There are 8 under the age of 5 to occupy precious free time, including the two newest arrivals adopted by their daughter an husband, from Haiti. Other interests include reading, traveling and doing anything outdoors.

Her recent research has been done in conjunction with faculty from other Baccalaureate nursing programs  in Minnesota doing multi-site studies exploring the critical thinking and behaviors related to hands-on nursing skills that benefit the patients being cared for.

Research: Caring behaviors during blood pressure measurement ; Critical thinking of student nurses during medication administration

Recent Publications:

"Student Nurse Thinking During Medication Administration" ready for submission to the Journal of Nursing Education

"Caring Behaviors During Blood Pressure Measurement," Journal of Nursing Education, March, 2008;

"Being in Another World: Transcultural Student Nurse Experiences Using Service Learning with Homeless Families, " Journal of Transcultural Nursing, April, 2007

'Cultural Care' chapter included in Introduction to Community Based Nursing, R. Hunt, Lippincott, 2005

"Proposed Standards for Transcultural Nursing," Journal of Transcultural Nursing, January 2002


B.S., M.S. University of Minnesota, Certified Transcultural Nurse (CTN)

Courses Taught

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
NUR-306 Health Assessment 9 2010/FA, 2009/FA, 2008/FA, 2007/FA, 2006/FA, and 2005/FA
NUR-338 Child Health Lab 6 2011/SP, 2010/SP, 2009/SP, 2008/SP, 2007/SP, and 2006/SP
NUR-338 Child Health 6 2011/SP, 2010/SP, 2009/SP, 2008/SP, 2007/SP, and 2006/SP
NUR-308 Adult Health I 6 2010/FA, 2009/FA, 2008/FA, 2007/FA, 2006/FA, and 2005/FA
NUR-330 Adult and Child 6 2004/SP, 2003/SP, 2002/SP, 2001/SP, 2000/SP, and 1999/SP
NUR-330 Adult and Child Lab 6 2004/SP, 2003/SP, 2002/SP, 2001/SP, 2000/SP, and 1999/SP
NUR-320 Application of Nursing Concepts 5 2003/FA, 2002/FA, 2001/FA, 2000/FA, and 1999/FA
NUR-310 Health Assessment and Nursing 5 2003/FA, 2002/FA, 2001/FA, 2000/FA, and 1999/FA
NUR-268 Career Exploration 4 2010/JN, 2008/JN, 2007/JN, and 2004/JN
NUR-304 Nursing Concepts 2 2006/FA and 2005/FA
NUR-302 Healthcare Issues 2 2006/FA and 2005/FA
NDL-212 Transcultural Tanzania 1 2008/JN
NUR-210 Parenting 1 2007/SP
NUR-399 Nursing in Tanzania 1 2006/JN
NDL-119 Parenting 1 2002/JN
NUR-200 Great Britain 1 2001/JN
Courses prior to Spring semester 1999 are not displayed.