They share stories. Through these stories we realize that we share the same concerns, the same issues…
…the same shortage?
Make that “Shortage” with a capital “S”.
In the United States and other developed countries, an aging population and technology-based health care increase the demand for nurses, while illnesses that have devastated populations in developing countries (AIDS, TB, malaria) have also affected health care workers, decreasing their numbers. (Rukholm, et al., 2009).
More nurses are needed, everywhere, which means more nurses need to be educated globally.
Rukholm et al. note, “Basic nursing education as well as continuing professional education is fundamental to the delivery of quality health care and ultimately to the health and security of nations worldwide.” (2009)
National security. Worldwide health. I’d say that puts nursing education into perspective.
Enter the Global Alliance for Nursing Education and Scholarship (GANES)*.
The core vision of GANES is to “provide an informed global voice for nursing education in order to improve health and health care through nursing education and scholarship…offer a forum for nursing education leaders to collaborate in and share nursing knowledge and best practices, learn from one another, and work as an international group to influence policy and health care in respective countries.” (Rukholm et al., 2009)
I was surprised to find out that many of the barriers to nursing education experienced here in the U.S. are global phenomena. The issues are similar, the causes differ.
Both developed and developing countries are experiencing a lack of qualified nursing faculty. The reasons for that are numerous in the U.S.and include age and the timing of education. In developing countries they may not even have access to to a graduate nursing education (Rukholm et al., 2009). We may have problems placing students in clinicals, some countries have “limited access combined with a dearth of clinical teachers with the expertise to teach.” (Rukholm et al., 2009)
I’m not used to thinking of nursing education as a global issue. I read the IOM/RWJF report on the Future of Nursing and I think only of the U.S. and if we’ll ever decide on a single entry level or how we’ll manage to put out enough nurses to replace the retiring “boomers”.
I try to wrap my mind around the fact that “Sub-Saharan African countries are short in excess of 600,000 nurses” (2006 WHO World Health Report as cited by Rukholm et al., 2009).
It takes my breath away.
It makes me appreciate just what we have.
[*GANES was formed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, the Council of Deans of Health (U.K.), and the Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery (Australia, New Zealand.)]
Rukholm, E. E., Stamler, L. L., Talbot, L. R., Bednash, G., Raines, F., Potempa, K.,…Parfitt, B. (2009). Scaling up the global nursing health workforce: Contributions of an international organization. Collegian: Journal of the Royal College of Nursing Australia, 16(1), 41-45. doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2009.01.001