Alumna Shawna Riley: My eye-opening nursing placement in Africa


Shawna Riley graduated in May 2021 with a bachelor's degree in Nursing from the University of Akron. She completed a four-week internship this summer in Takoradi in the African country of Ghana to see the differences between health care in the U.S. and the developing world.

This is Shawna's story.

I was originally scheduled to go overseas on my nursing internship before my last year of study, but then COVID struck so I delayed it until this summer.

It was not a requirement for me to go overseas on a nursing placement, but I love to travel and experience different cultures and it was something I knew I wanted to do before I started a full-time nursing job, so I sought out this opportunity on my own.

I was originally booked to go to Nepal but I then had the option of going to Ghana this summer, and I was so pleased as I loved the sound of Ghana from what I had researched.

I’ve travelled a lot, but I had never been to a country in Africa before.