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Missouri Certified Nurse Makes SLU-Madrid an Ideal Study Abroad Destination

by Isaiah Voss and Ashley Sanchez


As a bilingual Missourian with over 20 years in the medical field as a maternal and newborn health professional, Henrietta Buckley, M.S.N. (Health Sciences), bridges the gap between SLU's two campuses by teaching students how to communicate with future patients.

An instructor stands on one side of a hospital bed containing a patient mannequin holding a blood pressure cuff while two students watch from the other side.

Buckley with a student in SLU-Madrid health science lab. Photo by Ángel García. 

In the United States, Buckley worked at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis and continued to work for the Mercy Health System until she moved to Madrid. While working there, she also taught nursing students.

"I enjoyed teaching nursing students and volunteered to keep having students around," she said. "My interest in nursing started off with the experience of my daughter's delivery. I was inspired by the nurse that took care of me."

As a Missouri native, Buckley encountered many international patients, including a South American woman who introduced her parents to Buckley to praise her for her care in Spanish. Being bilingual, Buckley helped countless native Spanish speakers.

"Speaking both English and Spanish made me feel good knowing I was able to help," she said.

An accomplished nurse, she felt confident knowing that she educated future nurses during their studies. Yet, Buckley still hadn’t achieved one goal: teaching abroad.

"My dream since I started school was to work at Saint Louis University — Madrid Campus," she said. Over the years, Buckley's nursing students would talk about their studies at SLU-Madrid, which led her to apply.

SLU-Madrid's nursing courses follow strict guidelines provided by SLU-St. Louis and the state of Missouri. Because many of SLU's nursing graduates will practice in Missouri, a qualified nurse must be certified in that state. Buckley was a candidate who understood SLU and the city and state of its U.S. campus.

SLU-Madrid's 2 + 2 program in nursing allows students to study the first two years of their studies in Madrid, and then complete the B.S. in Nursing at SLU-St. Louis. Students who study in the spring semester are able to participate in a clinical experience at a local hospital in Madrid. SLU-Madrid's nursing program obtained the 2013 Heiskell Award Special Recognition for Internationalizing and Globalizing the Professions.

Learn more about the Department of Health Sciences, Nursing and Public Health at SLU-Madrid.