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Health and Long Life to You. And You. And You…: Scholars Convene in Dublin to Discuss Imperative Global Health Perspective in Nursing

Published August 10, 2017

Several UB School of Nursing faculty members traveled to Dublin, Ireland, for Sigma Theta Tau International’s (STTI) 28 International Research Congress in July.

“Global experiences are becoming so crucial for comprehensive nursing education because nursing itself is becoming more global every day.”
Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

Several UB School of Nursing faculty members traveled to Dublin, Ireland, for Sigma Theta Tau International’s (STTI) 28 International Research Congress in July.

Susan Grinslade, assistant dean for undergraduate programs and clinical professor, was invited to present the ongoing Million Hearts® collaboration between UB School of Nursing, Millennium Collaborative Care and Greater United Buffalo Ministries. The collaboration entails free community screenings for cardiovascular risk factors. Several students from other health-related fields such as nutrition, exercise science, pharmacy and medicine also participated, providing valuable interprofessional learning experiences. The collaboration continues to encourage and enable students to develop cultural sensitivity and work to eliminate health disparities.

Joann Sands and Jennifer Guay, both clinical assistant professors in the School of Nursing, presented “Providing Future Nurses with Experiential Learning Opportunities in Global Nursing: The Belize Experience,” outlining the importance and benefits of incorporating global health experiences into nursing curriculum.

“We wanted to share how we were able to implement a global health service learning program in an already rigorous and very structured nursing school schedule,” explains Sands. “Students were truly immersed in the Belizean culture. We provided the attendees with student feedback, revealing how life-changing this opportunity is and how 100 percent of the students felt the cross-cultural experience was the best aspect of the global nursing course.”

Global experiences help nursing students prepare to care for diverse populations across a variety of settings. 

During the last three winter intersessions at UB, nursing and pharmacy students traveled with faculty to Belize as part of a global study abroad course to provide basic health care and education to Belizean villagers of all ages. Immersion in an unfamiliar culture challenges students to develop their sense of civic engagement, social responsibility, ethical decision-making, collaboration and cultural sensitivity.

The School of Nursing’s commitment to educating globally minded and culturally sensitive nursing professionals is integrated to all aspects of students’ education, including local and international service learning opportunities.

“Global experiences are becoming so crucial for comprehensive nursing education because nursing itself is becoming more global every day,” Sands says. “We care for patients and work with health care providers from different nations and cultures with diverse health care experiences and beliefs. As nurses, we must understand the impact of global influences on the health care of individuals and populations. This ultimately impacts health care delivery.”

STTI’s annual international research congress serves as a platform for nurse researchers, students, clinicians and leaders in health care to present and discuss evidence-based research. This year’s program focused specifically on advancing global health and nursing, technology integration into evidence-based practice, and research strategies for evidence-based teaching and learning.

-Sarah Goldthrite