208789 Global health nursing: Ethical issues surrounding sustainability

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Emma Mitchell, MSN, RN , School of Nursing, Unviersity of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Jeanne M. Leffers, PhD, RN , Community Nursing, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Dartmouth, MA
Issues: Global health continues to be a major priority for public health nursing. Increasing numbers of nurses participate in global health experiences as educators, consultants, or in the provision of direct nursing care. However, the lack of a theoretical framework to guide global health nursing activities leaves many nurses without important ethical, professional or practice guidelines for their work.

Description: Nursing in international settings raises issues of host country nurse practice licensing, cultural sensitivity, promoting culturally appropriate health interventions that can be sustained, and respectful behavior as a guest in another country.

Lessons Learned: A review of literature from 1990 to 2009 revealed a paucity of research concerned specifically with sustainability in international initiatives, as well as the ethical issues surrounding global nursing practice or international nursing exchange. Thus, a conceptual framework to guide assessment for the sustainability of global health nursing interventions by Leffers and Mitchell (in process) was developed, identifying key elements that foster sustainability of health programs and health outcomes.

Recommendations: The presence of these key elements can lead to successful collaboration and nursing interventions in international settings. This research presentation will review the ethical concerns for global health nursing practice if important criteria for sustainability in international interventions cannot be met.

Learning Objectives:
1. Session participants will be able to evaluate sustainability in international nursing initiatives based on the model of sustainability presented. 2. Session participants will be able to identify ethical issues surrounding a lack of sustainability in the international nursing initiatives evaluated.

Keywords: Sustainability, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved in international student exchanges both as a student and as a teaching assistant. I have studied this content as an undergraduate nursing student for a honor's thesis and have continued to explore it through doctoral course work. Though this is not ultimately the topic of my dissertation, I have worked extensively with a mentor (second author) to review the literature and create a model for sustainability.
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.