J Korean Acad Community Health Nurs.  2019 Sep;30(3):324-335. 10.12799/jkachn.2019.30.3.324.

Nursing College Life Experiences of North Korean Defectors

  • 1Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Kosin University, Busan, Korea.
  • 2Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Kosin University, Busan, Korea. 112059@kosin.ac.kr
  • 3Ph.D., Course, College of Nursing, Kosin University, Busan, Korea.


The purpose of this study is to understand nursing college life experiences of North Korean Defectors and identify their meanings.
The study collected data through individual in-depth interviews among six undergraduates or graduates from nursing colleges, using phenomenological research methodology of Colaizzi-one of qualitative research approaches.
Six categories drawn as a result of research include "˜Be bumped against hard reality wall', "˜Bondage of discrimination and prejudice', "˜Endure and stand with strength of faith', "˜Myself grown up along with work', "˜Becoming one amid differences', and "˜Stepping towards unification'.
The result of this study would contribute to understanding academic and interpersonal difficulties North Korean defectors might experience at nursing colleges. And it may also help people to learn that they would play an important role in integration of the nursing fields of South and North Korea as well as the nation's unification. Along the way, the results of the study could be basic data to establish national policy helping North Korean defectors adapt to nursing college life, and develop the supporting system of colleges as well as setting up appropriate supports and measures from the perspective of the nursing field.


Nursing; Universities; Life; Qualitative research; Democratic People's Republic of Korea
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