New Office Will Take "Global" Approach

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Jane Shivnan, director of the new Office of Global Nursing, positions Hopkins Nursing as a global leader in nursing and health care. As a component of the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing—the cooperative partnership of the School of Nursing and the Department of Nursing—the Office of Global Nursing seeks to strengthen Hopkins’ international presence in nursing education, research, practice, and service.

“Many faculty, students, and Hopkins nurses are already actively involved in projects benefiting patients worldwide,” says Shivnan, RN, MScN, AOCN, who comes to the Office of Global Nursing from her roles as the Johns Hopkins Hospital Magnet coordinator and assistant director of oncology nursing. “The new Office of Global Nursing will build upon the existing relationships between the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, the Johns Hopkins Hospital Department of Nursing, and Johns Hopkins Medicine International to support these activities.”

As the Office of Global Nursing develops, students will experience a more international nursing education, through presentations and workshops, new curricula, and international learning opportunities. Researchers will have increased access to information on global research funding, international conferences, and prospects for international research collaboration. And, by working closely with Johns Hopkins Medicine International, the Office of Global Nursing will identify opportunities and projects for Hopkins nurses to practice globally. The office hopes to act as a clearinghouse for volunteer activities in international disaster relief, development, collection of donated supplies and medications, and other health activities.

Global nursing is not new to the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing, which has been home to a Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) since 2001. The mission of the center this year is to build a web-based Nursing Community of Practice—a knowledge portal that will include an online bulletin board, library, tool repository, chat capability, online learning, and more.

“We want nurses to be able to communicate with each other easily, sharing their knowledge and best practices,” says Patricia Abbott, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, co-director of the Collaborating Center for Knowledge, Information Management, and Sharing. “Our goal is to deliver information into the hands of those who care, whether they are in an urban setting or in the bush of sub-Saharan Africa.”

“Think of the Community of Practice as a global condominium complex,” explains Abbott. “Not everyone wants to join the complex, and there is a level of security required to ensure safe passage. Nurses and midwives can easily apply for a password to enter the community. Once inside, users can interact with other nurses in common areas, such as online message boards. They can visit a library full of journal articles and research findings, take classes with other nurses from around the world, or participate in discussion groups with other members of the community.”

Until permanent funding is secured, the project’s beginnings will be modest. Three discussion boards are being created on the topics of HIV/AIDS, Making Pregnancy Safer, and Distance Education. An online meeting has already been held with nurses from Barbados on Making Pregnancy Safer, and Abbott will soon be holding a virtual class with nurses in Bahrain to share knowledge around distance education techniques. The knowledge portal will be housed at Johns Hopkins.

While the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center explores technological methods of sharing knowledge between nurses, other initiatives led by the Office of Global Nursing will explore mechanisms for moving Hopkins Nursing from “local to global.” As the home of both the Collaborating Center and the Office of Global Nursing, the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing will now become a “one-stop shop” for the international activities of Hopkins Nursing.

Says Shivnan: “Through the Office of Global Nursing and the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center, the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing will pave the way to share Hopkins nursing expertise and knowledge with the world.”


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