Chamberlain College of Nursing’s focus on student success extends well beyond the classroom and clinical environments
Imagine providing healthcare services to thousands of low-income residents across the globe – some of whom have had no prior medical care – while juggling obstacles including limited-to-no water and electricity and only having access to the supplies and medications that can fit inside of a suitcase with a 50-pound weight restriction.
This is the reality for each student nurse that makes up the care team in Chamberlain’s Global Health Education Program experiences, previously known as the International Nursing Service Project. These students have the opportunity to venture beyond their classroom and local community to expand their educational horizons through a full spectrum of social, cause-related and field experiences.
Since 1993, Dr. Susan Fletcher, EdD, MSN, BSN, Global Health Education Chair, has led students on two- to three-week service project immersion experiences to Brazil, Kenya, India, Bolivia, the Philippines, Uganda and the Dominican Republic. Through these trips, students gain a deeper understanding of cultural and economic differences and receive firsthand experience in addressing healthcare concerns outside the clinical setting as they personally contribute to transforming healthcare delivery at a global level.
More than ever before, the impact global healthcare has on the U.S. is striking. As tourism and globalization of business rise worldwide, so does the spread of disease from foreign countries.According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, promoting heath abroad is key to protecting the health of the U.S. population. Chamberlain students are doing their part to effect positive change abroad through Global Health Education Program experiences, and returning with the skills to improve healthcare in the U.S.
Responding To Growing Diversity In Healthcare
In the United States, 20 million people currently receive healthcare services through community health centers, and new legislation has designated funds to expand their capacity
. At the same time, the U.S. population is rapidly becoming more diverse. The proportion of non-Hispanic white residents will peak in 2024
as the U.S. populations of Hispanic, black, American Indian, Alaska Natives and Asian Americans increase. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that the country will become a majority-minority nation for the first time in 2043.
As this increasingly diverse population obtains access to health insurance coverage, healthcare professionals who work in community health centers and more traditional settings, such as hospitals, will require extensive knowledge in community and multicultural care.
Comprising the largest segment of the healthcare workforce, registered nurses are well positioned to meet these industry needs. In fact, in the 2010 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the Institute of Medicine recommended that nurses gain the competencies needed to provide care for diverse populations.
“The immersion learning experience is eye opening for many students,” Dr. Fletcher explained. “Nurses are leading the transformation of healthcare, so it is vital that they prepare to work in diverse settings and provide care for patients of all ethnicities and walks of life.”