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Areas of Excellence


Center for Global Initiatives

Cultivating Skills to Address Complex Global Health Care Problems




  • The Center for Global Initiatives in collaboration with Hopkins faculty prepares graduates to address complex global health care problems within our borders and throughout the world. We prepare global nursing leaders who cultivate skills such as cultural sensitivity, in addition to their practice and research skills to develop and implement evidenced based health care solutions to improve the care of people everywhere.
    Phyllis Sharps PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN

    Associate Dean for Community & Global Programs
    Director, Center for Global Initiatives

In an increasingly interdependent global society with shifting health concerns, emerging diseases, and increasing health inequities, all nurses need the skills to address complex global health challenges. Using an interprofessional approach the Center for Global Initiatives focuses on creating opportunities for students with a focus on cross-discipline, problem-solving educational offerings to address social, economic, and political factors affecting health systems. 

The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON) Center for Global Initiatives uses the collective knowledge, skills and experiences of nursing faculty and students and professional staff to promote innovation, capacity development and advocacy for the advancement of nursing education, research, practice and health policy worldwide. Embracing the School's core values of excellence, respect, diversity, integrity and accountability, the Center leads and supports effective global initiatives, that leverage and expand its reach and impact and advance nursing and promote health. The Center is a cross-functional, integrated, and strategic administrative unit serving as an operational umbrella for existing and developing Hopkins Nursing international education, practice, research, and policy initiatives.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and World Health Organization (WHO) re-designated JHSON as a Collaborating Center for Nursing Knowledge, Information Management and Sharing. We are the first PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center concentrating specifically on nursing information and communication technologies. The Collaborating Center engages in national and international activities that respond to nursing information, communication and knowledge management needs. 

Our Collaborating Center hosts the Global Alliance for Nursing and Midwifery (GANM) which supports the professional development of nurses and midwives through collaborative networking and education.  The GANM is an online community of practice that consists of more than 3,700 professionals from all over the world.  The primary communication is via email.  This allows for equitable access to the discussions regardless of internet bandwidth: we give nurses a global voice.  In addition to this, the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center has webinars hosted by global experts on topics such as maternal health, newborn health, technology, global clinical issues.  Webinars are structure with a 15-20 minute presentation and 10-15 minutes for questions and discussions. 

We create international impact by:

  • Providing targeted capacity development assistance in collaboration with academic partners across the globe to support curriculum development, faculty skills enhancement, practice and scholarly productivity
  • Leveraging faculty expertise in international issues and topics such as gender-based violence, simulation learning, and mobile health
  • Supporting students engaged in international clinical experiences
  • Addressing local to global needs for nursing across the life span and all settings where nurses learn, practice, conduct research, advocate, and influence policy
  • Consulting nursing institutions, educational and professional, in areas of research, education innovation and improving the overall status of the nursing profession

Center Staff

Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN

Teresa Pfaff, MPH, MSN, RN, APHN-BC, CPH                      
P. 410-614-5302 | E.


Contact the Center: | 410-614-5302

Advisory Board

Advisory Board

The purpose of the advisory board is to provide the Center for Global Initiatives with advice on the enhancing the international activities of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (SON).


Patricia Davidson, PhD Med, RN, FAAN Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing



Robert Bollinger, MD, MPHDirector, Center for Global Health Education
Nancy Glass, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN  Associate Dean, Research and Associate Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health
Karen Haller, PhD, RN    Vice President of Nursing and Clinical Excellence, Johns Hopkins Medicine International
Peter Johnson, PhD, CNM, FACNM   Director of Global Learning, Jhpiego
Hester Klopper, PhD, MBA, FANSAPresident, Sigma Theta Tau International, Fundisa
Tom Quinn, MD, MS  Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health
Franklin Shaffer, EdD, RN, FAAN CEO, Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools
Judith Shamian, PhD, RNPresident, International Council of Nurses
Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, FAAN  Associate Dean for Community and Global Programs








Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization
Collaborating Center for Knowledge and Information Management and Sharing

Located at the School of Nursing, and co-directed by Drs. Patricia Davidson and Phyllis Sharps, the Center explores technological methods of sharing knowledge between nurses. Through the Center, information is delivered into the hands of those who care for patients around the globe, whether they are in an urban setting or in the bush of sub-Saharan Africa.

Scholarship Opportunities

Contact the Center to learn more at

International Placements

  • International Transitions for Clinical Practicum 
  • Volunteer Programs 
  • Nursing Fellowships
  • Research Training Program

Consultation Services for Foreign Schools of Nursing

A wide range of expertise from nursing faculty is available to facilitate advancement in direct patient care, program development, research, advocacy and policy change in global settings. Specialty areas include:

  • HIV Management Training
  • Gender Based Violence
  • Chronic Diseases and Aging Populations
  • Interprofessional Education



Latest Releases

Study Finds Microfinance Program—Pigs for Peace—Also Improves Mental Health Symptoms for Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Dec 3, 2014 8:39:00 AM EST
pigWomen and families in rural areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been beaten down physically and mentally by years of war, poverty, and violence, but a Johns Hopkins School of Nursing researcher and her team suggest that a baby pig has the power to turn despair into hope, even reducing symptoms of PTSD and depression....Click here to read more.
Online Course Brings Dementia Care Home
Dec 1, 2014 9:40:00 AM EST

Pick a holiday – any holiday – at this time of year, and thoughts turn to family, of bringing the generations together to re-live memories and make new ones. For many families, this means bringing a grandparent, a parent, an aunt, or a cousin with dementia home from a full-time care facility or assuring that persons with dementia living at home are able to meaningfully participate in festivities....Click here to read more.

U.S. Nursing Leaders Issue Blueprint for 21st Century Nursing Ethics
Nov 18, 2014 10:00:00 AM EST

In the wake of media focus on the trials and bravery of nurses in the context of the Ebola crisis, leaders in the fields of nursing and clinical ethics have released an unprecedented report on the ethical issues facing the profession, as the American Nursing Association prepares to release a revised Code of Ethics in 2015....Click here to read more.

Featured in Johns Hopkins Nursing



Afya Bora Consortium Fellowship

The Afya Bora Consortium aims to contribute to health systems strengthening in African partner countries by implementing a leadership training program targeting African and U.S. health professionals.

The Afya Bora Fellowship in Global Health Leadership works to fill the identified gap in training for African and U.S. health professionals working in global health. This innovative, 12 month fellowship prepares African and U.S. health professionals to lead and manage major health programs in African countries and develop a sustainable training program owned by a South-South Consortium, with the ultimate goal of improving health-related service delivery in Africa.

Coverdell Peace Corps Fellows Program

The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing works to help returned volunteers pursue a career in nursing through bachelor's level nursing education and is one of the first fellows programs for nursing.  Fellows agree to work in the underserved communities of East Baltimore at many of Johns Hopkins' nurse run clinics through the Community Outreach Program. Fellows may apply to receive a salary for their work in community outreach -- although some of the sites are volunteer experiences. By filling out the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program Application students are considered for one of the Peace Corps Fellows Scholarships worth $12,500.

Learn more about the Coverdell Peace Corps Fellows Program

Take Your Practicums Abroad

Transitions Practicum (NR.110.408)

Senior pre-licensure nursing students receive course credit to travel for a 6 week clinical learning experience as a part their last clinical course prior to graduation. Clinical areas include: urgent care, medical/surgical , labor and delivery, oncology and pediatrics. Students are sent to hospitals in various countries depending on clinical area availability. In the past students have traveled to: 

  • Australia
  • Cameroon
  • China
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates

Transitions background & procedures including travel forms

Public Health Nursing Practicum (NR.110.450P)

Students receive course credit to travel for 7-12 day clinical experience in a public health setting. Currently students are sent to a variety of public health settings such as:

  • Haiti
  • St. Croix





Extending the reach of Hopkins forensic nursing courses have been developed collaboration with Flinders University. More on Australia


Closer to home in East Baltimore--the innovative program Text-4-Baby provides pre- and post-natal information via cell phones to new and expectant mothers. The program, and her work in building sponsoring coalitions of private and public funders and city and academic advocates, will now be replicated in Bangladesh.  More on mHealth

China and South Africa

In China and South Africa, Hopkins nursing doctoral student Carrie Tudor and nursing faculty member Jason Farley are working to bring best practices of infectious disease management to hospitals and to healthcare workers. More on disease management

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

The last decade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has seen the use of rape as a weapon of war, where rebels and soldiers subject women and girls to brutalizing attacks, rape, torture, and mutilation. Survivors of rape are often further traumatized by infections, disease, poverty, stigma and social isolation. In response, associate professor Nancy Glass created "Pigs for Peace," a microfinance intervention to improve health of rape survivors in the DRC that supplies individuals with pigs to raise and sell to improve their living situation. The study objective is to test the effectiveness of an innovative, village-led microfinance program on SGBV survivor's health, household economic stability, and reintegration to family and village.  Read Hopkins blogs from the Congo


Relief efforts in Haiti, both short- and long-term, have relied heavily on nursing expertise to deliver front-line care and to begin the rebuilding of nursing capacity. Beth Sloand, another nursing faculty member, was on the ground delivering medical care immediately following the earthquake and has returned numerous times with Hopkins nursing students. Read Hopkins blogs from Haiti


In Uganda nurse leaders from government, service, and academic institutions, including Hopkins nursing assistant professor Sara Groves, are revising the nation's nurse practice act to allow the provision of maternal-child services by advance practice nurses. More on Uganda



Our Stories

Democratic Republic of the Congo Blogs

more blog entries >

  1. Run Nancy Run!

    Dr. Nancy Glass has finished the 7 Day 7 Marathon race in the Congo. We look forward to hearing about her stories and experiences of this amazing adventure. We have lived vicariously through her, following the run online through Facebook ... Read More »

    Thu, 18 Jun 2015 21:02:34 +0000
  2. Photo-Based Research in Rural DR Congo

    Last week we were able to get Sarah Bristol, Traditional 2012 student and Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award (PURA) award winner started on her very innovative photo-based research project, “Mothers’ Documentation of the Persistent Impact of War on Their Children and ... Read More »

    Thu, 11 Aug 2011 18:58:49 +0000

Guatemala Blogs

more blog entries >

  1. Memories of Guatemala

    October in Guatemala is lush and green and filled with cloudy afternoons that end in downpours. This Saturday afternoon is no different: I land in Guatemala around noon and feel that tug of excitement and anxiety that traveling into a new, unknown place brings.
    Tue, 10 Mar 2015 22:58:02 +0000
  2. Guatemala Esperanza Fall 2014

    ¡Hola desde Guatemala! Johns Hopkins nursing students arrived safe and sound in Guatemala City on Saturday, October 18. Ten accelerated BSN nursing students are using their fall break time to provide service to underserved and indigenous communities in San Martín ... Read More »

    Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:35:39 +0000

  1. Public Health Policy Day-Haiti Group

    We had an exciting day down in D.C. for our public health policy day. We left as a group bright and early on the MARC train and arrived for a meeting at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) headquarters. We ... Read More »
    Tue, 27 May 2014 17:37:46 +0000
  2. Heading Up Into The Mountains

    After an exciting weekend in Jeremie, we headed out to the countryside for community teaching in Chonel and Duchenn as well as our first day at the clinic in Gatineau. We planned to teach about germ theory, water treatment and sanitation, the ... Read More »

    Tue, 27 May 2014 12:51:24 +0000

St. Croix Blogs

more blog entries >

  1. Ahoy Saint Croix

    April 29

    We made it!

    This was a particularly hectic day.  We arrived at school at 7:00 to pack the suitcases.  We were so happy to see all of the donations that we received!  Walgreens donated ... Read More »

    Sat, 06 Jun 2015 20:16:45 +0000
  2. Your Story Here

    The Clifton Thornton story is pretty typical of how things work here at SON Marketing and Communications, or MarCom.

    He’s at the School of Nursing. He shines brightly among his peers. We hear about him. He’s gone. (Just swap in “she” ... Read More »

    Mon, 01 Dec 2014 15:13:50 +0000



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