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Global Health Nursing Course Provides Grist for Online Journal Article

Two faculty members in Old Dominion University's School of Nursing recently published an article about global health nursing in the online journal Reflections on Nursing Leadership.

In their article, "Wiki travels: Using technology to teach global health concepts," Janice Hawkins, RN, chief academic adviser, and Ann Campbell, RN, senior lecturer, write about the Global Health Nursing course they teach at ODU.

They wrote that nursing colleges accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing need to equip future nurses for culturally diverse populations in multinational practice settings because of the "globalization of health care and the diversity of this nation's population."

The ODU faculty members said they met this imperative by developing a Web-based course to introduce global health concepts to undergraduate nursing students.

"Recognizing that Millennial Generation students demonstrate increased proficiency in use of technology, we adapted the Wikipedia concept to facilitate translation of didactic content to real-world application," Hawkins and Campbell wrote.

As an introductory assignment, their students explored health indicators, measurements and trends for a country somewhere in the world.

"As part of the requirement, they created a wiki page as the medium to present this information. Using Blackboard's Wiki Tool, students edited and added relevant global health content, as assigned in weekly modules, to build wiki countries," the researchers wrote.

Throughout the course, Hawkins and Campbell wrote, the students explored cultural, occupational, environmental and nutritional factors related to health in their countries. And as each page was developed, the students began to connect the economic, educational and political "puzzle pieces" that impact a nation's health status.

The authors reported that their students told them the project "has opened our views to other countries and their individual concerns," and that the disparity among these countries dramatically illustrated the issues relating to poor sanitation and inaccessible health care that affect the overall health of their citizens.

By the end of the course, the combined effort of class members resulted in a "wiki-country" encyclopedia that covered the globe.

"This final product is an effective resource for students learning about health issues around the world," Hawkins and Campbell wrote.

"It is imperative that any new vision of nursing education includes both global health content and innovative teaching tools. We believe this innovative, Web-based course offers educators a model for teaching global health concepts to nursing students of the Millennial Generation."

The Reflections on Nursing Leadership journal is a collection of research and resources for nurses and nursing researchers compiled by Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing.

This article was posted on: October 4, 2010

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