185419 Integrating global health coursework into graduate public health nursing curricula

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 1:10 PM

Cheryl Robertson, PhD, MPH, RN , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Linda Halcon, PhD, MPH, RN , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Background: It is critical that public health nursing graduate students have a broad understanding of global health issues and have the opportunity to specialize in this area to prepare them as global health leaders. Developing a global health disciplinary focus within a graduate public health nursing program presents challenges. While it is agreed that increased global health content is important to graduate curricula, there is no agreement as to the content focus. It is difficult to provide both breadth of knowledge and sufficient depth that offers academic rigor and encourages area expertise. There are also financial and time-management barriers for PHN graduate students to enroll in non-required coursework.

Methods: Public health nursing faculty in a large Midwestern University designed, taught, and evaluated five seminar courses that address the complexity of health problems in developing countries and in resettled refugee communities. The content addresses historical perspectives, health systems structures, macro-economic constraints, and capacity development issues that influence developing world health. Poverty, gender-based disparities, armed conflict and mass displacement are addressed in-depth. Two courses address refugee and immigrant health, with a focus on trauma, stress and coping.

Results: The global health courses receive excellent student evaluations, but they often do not fill to capacity. Often the majority of the students are enrolled in academic programs other than nursing, such as public health majors, where the courses can be used to complete degree requirements

Recommendations/conclusions: A global health subspecialty area has been developed within the DNP public health nursing focus area, to debut in fall 2009. The global health coursework complements advanced public health nursing courses and DNP courses aimed at applied scholarship and expanded evidence. Long term evaluation of this DNP subspecialty will include numbers of students, post-graduation employment in international settings, and ongoing assessment to refine the courses as the needs of the international health community change.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, the participant will be able to: 1. Delineate two key global health content areas for a disciplinary focus 2. Describe three indicators of content depth in a global health disciplinary focus 3. Discuss two strategies to encourage graduate level public health nursing students to enroll in elective global health coursework.

Keywords: Public Health Nursing, Global Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PHD, MPH,and RN degrees and have taught graduate students in global health coursework.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.