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The PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center on International Nursing

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The nursing profession throughout the world requires vibrant and effective leaders to tackle critical healthcare problems. The PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center on International Nursing has launched a major initiative to address this need.

Participants in International Nursing Leadership Institute and guest speakers

by  Lynda Harrison, RN, PhD, FAAN Professor and Deputy Director, PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center on International Nursing

Collaborating with nurses from Brazil, Chile, Columbia and Honduras, the School of Nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)—the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/ World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on International Nursing—sponsored an International Nursing Leadership Institute from January 7-25, 2008. 

Aiming toward the improvement of the quality of the nursing workforce worldwide and enhancing access to relevant training and education, this Institute focused on one of the most important global health issues of our time—the critical need to strengthen the nursing workforce, at every level, throughout the world.

Participants at the International Nursing Leadership Institute
Dean Harper
Dean Doreen Harper and Leadership Institute participants

This Institute’s key objectives included strengthening nursing leadership capacity and enhancing child and family health through innovations in the delivery of nursing care. The program also focused on the promotion of ongoing collaborative projects that would sustain efforts to strengthen global nursing and health care delivery in the future. As well, each participant from Latin America had an opportunity to enhance their written and spoken English skills.

During the course of this Institute, 18 international participants joined 13 UAB students and nurses from the Birmingham area to have an outstanding opportunity for global and cross-cultural exchange.  This course— “Global Perspectives on Nursing Leadership”— was co-taught by Reina Lidylia Grogan, Director of the School of Nursing at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma of Honduras, Dr. Lynda Harrison, Professor and Deputy Director of the WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center at UAB, with other guest lecturers. 

Without leaving Birmingham, Alabama nursing students took the opportunity to develop skills to broaden their capacity to address the needs of the wider, global nursing community. Continuing their classwork throughout the upcoming spring semester, these UAB students will build on what they have learned to develop a toolkit—focused on nursing leadership development—that can be shared with nurses globally. 

In turn, participanting nurses from Latin America lived with volunteer host families in the community and participated in English classes offered by the UAB English Language and Culture Institute.  These classes incorporated concepts and readings that reinforced the content taught in the International Nursing Leadership Institute. 

A key component of the Institute involved the development of collaborations between Institute participants and the UAB School of Nursing faculty that will be implemented in their home countries during the coming year.

Institute participants initiated projects that will contribute to enhancing child and family health locally while also impacting upon nursing practice globally.

The topics for these collaborative projects include:  Preventing and Addressing the Problem of Family Violence in Honduras, Developing a Masters in the Science of Nursing Program in Honduras, Telephone Monitoring for Diabetic Patients in Chile, Promoting Family Centred Care for Pediatric Patients in Chile, Daily Care for Late Preterm Infants in Chile, Evaluating Primary Care Programs in Brazil, Evaluating Programs to Teach Students the Principles of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses in Brazil, Developing a Web Site to Teach Nurses About Therapeutic Play in Hospitalized  Children, the Prevention of Childhood Obesity and Cultural Influences of Post-Stroke Family Caregiving for Older Adults in Brazil, Colombia, and the United States.

As a strategy to address the goals of the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center on International Nursing, the UAB School of Nursing plans to offer this International Leadership Institute every two years—to enhance opportunities for global collaboration for SON faculty and students, and to promote nursing leadership development, particularly in the Pan American Region. 


Lynda Harrison, RN, PhD, FAAN Professor and Deputy Director
PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center on International Nursing
University of Alabama
Tel: (205) 934 6787
email: HarrisoL@uab.edu

asoka roy 1
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In 2008 & 2009, Asoka Roy’s family created a Platinum Sponsorship of the Nightingale Declaration Campaign to honor the memory of their sister — a pioneering nurse & midwife in both India & the United States. Projects developed from this contribution included an India-wide outreach of the Nightingale Declaration dedicated to Asoka’s memory.
See: An Indian Nightingale
Generous Support of Drs. Rustum & Della Roy