Global nursing, Part 2: From contacts to collaborators

By Sharon M. Weinstein and Sheila A. Ryan | 11/21/2017

That professional acquaintance may be just the research connection you need.

Hand holding globeIt was one research project, but it led to ongoing international collaboration. Part 2 of a three-part global nursing miniseries.

Sheila A. RyanSharon M. WeinsteinGlobalization is changing the nature of human interaction across a wide range of spheres, including economic, political, social, technological, and environmental. It is changing the face of healthcare delivery at home and abroad. International partnering facilitates cultural awareness, enhances educational programs, and results in personal and professional growth. Turning contacts into collaborators to create a global network has never been easier.

The world is becoming smaller, and global nursing relationships can easily be created through a variety of connections, including social media. By establishing mutually agreed-upon goals, the new collaborators—and their programs—survive and thrive, based upon adherence to these selection principles:

  • Choosing brilliant, highly motivated professionals
  • Selecting safe travel locations
  • Remembering that, as collaborators, we are both teachers and students
  • Being respectful of your contact’s needs and goals
  • Planning for the present with a vision for the future
  • Being aware of cultural differences and local infrastructure

The global network that now exists between the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing (UNMC CON) and Al-zaytoonah Private University School of Nursing (APUSON) in Amman, Jordan, is one example of such collaboration.

A young mother and nursing graduate student from Jordan chose UNMC CON for her cancer-related research. What began as a clinical research project is now a long-term program. Since the original partnership, shared opportunities have continued to expand. Three Jordanian faculty members have completed their PhDs from UNMC CON. These relationships broadened into shared international oncology consultations and, eventually, a baccalaureate (BSN) student exchange program that began in 2016.

Four UNMC senior BSN students spent a month in Amman attending nursing classes and participating in clinical shadowing with senior nursing students from Al-Zaytoonah Private University. The UNMC students were impressed with the generosity and enthusiasm of the locals and their desire to show their best to the Americans. The sightseeing was life-changing for UNMC students. We have since welcomed other groups of students from Al-Zaytoonah. Politics has created delays, giving additional credence to the importance of sharing one another’s cultures. Through mutual respect, our relationship will continue to grow.

Nursing is a global profession. Think about the setting in which you work and your ability to build on your contacts, open the door to diversity, and create sustainable change. One of the joys of global nursing is the opportunity to be a connector—to introduce parties at home and abroad through common interests, passion for international work, and commitment to global nursing! RNL

Click here to access “Global nursing, Part 1: Listen, learn, act.”
Click here to access “Global nursing, Part 3: Partnering for success.”

Sharon M. Weinstein, MS, CRNI-R, RN, FACW, FAAN, CSP, is one of 22 nurses worldwide with the certified speaking professional credential. Weinstein is president and founder of the Global Education Development Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes nurse development around the world, and president of the Washington, D.C. chapter of the National Speakers Association. She is the author of B is for Balance: 12 Steps Toward a More Balanced Life at Home and at Work, published by Sigma Publishing.

Sheila A. Ryan, PhD, RN, FAAN, Charlotte Peck Lienemann and Alumni Distinguished Chair at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing in Omaha (USA), is director of international programs at the school. Former dean of two colleges of nursing, member of the Institute of Medicine, and fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, Ryan has served on a number of boards, including the Institute for Health Improvement, American International Health Alliance, and the Institute for Behavioral Healthcare Improvement. 


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