Nursing in a "Global Village"

Nursing in a "Global Village"

“In reviewing the statistics of global health today, including nursing, it is abundantly apparent that the world needs leaders who are also heroes: Leaders who are dedicated to improving the welfare of others and in so doing become role models for others,” said Dr. Roy Schwartz, former president of the China Medical Board, at a ceremony in which the PUMC students delivered their dissertation proposals.

“Why are such leaders needed?  The answer to this question may be found by reviewing the challenges that health professionals, including nurses, face from living in a Global Village created by the process of globalization.” To Schwartz, globalization is more than just a global economy based on trade agreements and foreign investments-it is the transformation of human life caused by the emergence of a global economy, language, communication system, and transportation system.

One of the challenges of globalization, says Schwartz, is that “the global scientific enterprise is churning out advances at an unprecedented rate.  The creation of new disciplines, such as genomics, proteomics, RNA biology, and advances in our understanding of the brain, are evidence of this fact.  These advances are profoundly altering what health professionals, including academicians, do.”

For the PUMC students specifically, Schwartz addressed how current changes in China will affect their profession:  “A gap continues to grow between urban and rural citizens.  This gap mirrors the kinds and quality of health care available in the two areas of Chinese life. … Many in rural areas are moving to the cities where they are setting up permanent residences. … These people bring health problems with them that impact nursing and must be addressed in all city hospitals and care centers.”

“It is critically important to understand that the education system must produce leaders not only for their own country, but also leaders for the world.  Failure to see ourselves as citizens of the world would be the worst mistake we could make.”

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