Healthcare capacity building and academic innovation are the strategic priorities of a new Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) center aimed at improving care and outcomes for patients, families, and communities throughout the world.
JHUSON Dean Martha N. Hill, PhD, RN, described the Center for Global Nursing at her September 24, 2010 State of the School address, noting, "The world's most serious health threats -- maternal and infant death, new and resistant infections, cardiovascular and other chronic diseases, malnutrition, natural disasters, and man-made conflicts -- call for this global nursing perspective." She added that it is now time for a dynamic academic nursing emphasis that transcends national and regional boundaries and overcomes political barriers.
JHUSON Associate Professor Nancy Glass, PhD, RN, who is an associate director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health, will serve as co-director of the center with Hill. To address the priorities of capacity building and innovation, the center will:
- Focus on nursing's contribution to meeting the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals outlined in the Secretary General's Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health;
- Provide targeted capacity development assistance in collaboration with academic partners across the globe to support curriculum development, faculty skills enhancement, research practice, and scholarly productivity;
- Address local to global needs for nursing across the life span and in all settings where nurses learn, practice, conduct research, advocate, and influence policy;
- Promote innovation and best practices in nursing education, practice, and research, and the creation of global standards for academic nursing;
- Encourage faculty, student, and staff exchanges;
- Actively engage with international organizations to strengthen and leverage initiatives; and
- Implement the Institute of Medicine recommendations outlined in The U.S. Commitment to Global Health.
The launch of the Center follows a recent virtual conversation Hill hosted with eight international leaders in global health that was published in the global-themed summer issue of Johns Hopkins Nursing magazine, and a September 14, 2010 Baltimore Sun commentary entitled "Nursing Shortage Knows No Boundaries." In both the conversation and the commentary, Hill noted that "Nurses are well positioned to be major actors on this global stage. Despite the growing nursing shortage, they remain the largest and most widely distributed group of healthcare professionals in the world with an estimated 12 million nurses working to improve health in 125 countries. They are among the world's thinkers, decision-makers, innovators, and trail blazers who are on the front lines in dealing with national and international health issues. And they are poised to address -- and capable of resolving -- the world's most pressing health concerns."