College of Nursing incorporates global citizenship as 21st century skill
Today’s nurses called to understand the global nature of health care
“We encourage all our nursing students to consider how nursing and health are part of a global context,” says Pam Fuller, EdD, MSN, RN and dean of the College of Nursing. “Our various nursing degree programs emphasize the global impact of health in general and health care in particular.” As an example, she cites two undergraduate nursing courses that are part of the RN-to-BSN program at University of Phoenix: NSG/450: Epidemiology and Global Health and NUR/408: Epidemiology: Global and Public Health.
Epidemiology and public health touch all aspects and specialties of nursing, according to Fuller. “Nurses who have studied public health concepts in addition to clinical practice understand that nursing always occurs in larger context than just the bed and the patient,” she says. “It’s very important for nurses to understand what’s happening elsewhere in the nation and the world, and how it might be affecting the patients they are helping to treat. Everything from disease transmission to differences in health care delivery across countries makes an impact here in the United States. We especially focus on this in our BSN program."
According to Fuller, nursing as a global profession isn’t just something that occurs in the abstract. Nurses themselves work in all corners of the world, and the discoveries one nurse makes in one country can have a direct impact on nurses working on the other side of the globe, while the perspective gained from international nursing can lead to innovations in global best practices. As such, when nurses from different countries work and study together, the learning opportunities grow tremendously.
“The College of Nursing has a number of international students and alumni, and this helps expand our knowledge base,” Fuller explains. “We have nearly 50 current international students in both our undergraduate and graduate nursing degree programs. The classroom interaction between our U.S. students and these international students, whether on campus or online, fosters dialogue that allows everyone to gain greater understanding of global health issues.”
Fuller stresses that all the world’s nurses are interconnected. “We encourage our nursing students to value diversity by seeking to understand both commonalities and differences among their colleagues, and applying that knowledge to their nursing careers.”