Online Program

Nursing Leadership in Global Policies- Central America

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Ann G. Hershberger, PhD, RN, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA, VA
Background/ Issue: Central American nurses traditionally have had little overt political power to influence either their work or societal health inequalities due in part to the lack of respect for the profession and the place of women in society.  Yet, nurses have always been involved in shaping policy at various levels to improve health through traditional and nontraditional means.

 Description:  This session’s focus is on narrating the stories of these nurses.  The descriptions are offered within the backdrop of the work of international nursing organizations’ and solidarity groups’ efforts toward improving health and the nursing profession.

Lessons Learned:  

  • Central American nurses face overwhelming odds in shaping patient care and nursing service policies.
  • In spite of obstacles nurses work from foundation of humanismo or caring.
  • External solidarity (i.e. PAHO) is needed to support changes in policies related to nurse workload and role along with policies to counter neoliberal  effects on healthcare.
  • Active resistance to repression can lead to retaliation against nurses (Honduras).


Increased opportunities are needed for partnerships between American institutions and Central American schools of nursing and health care institutions.  These partnerships must be developed to benefit not just the American partner through student or faculty exposure or research opportunities and must include attention to policy development.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the experience of nurses in Central America with regard to nursing and health care policy. Formulate appropriate partnerships with Central American nursing and health care organizations in the pursuit of health.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have lived, worked or consulted in Central America with nursing and human service institutions since 1976.
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.