Global Service Learning Aboard the U.S. Navy's Pacific Partnership Mission

Monday, 9 November 2015

Gary Glauberman, MS, RN, APHN-BC
Department of Nursing, University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, Honolulu, HI, USA

Nursing around the world is facing complex challenges to individual, community and global health. To be prepared to face these challenges, nursing students need to develop a global perspective on local health issues. Academic institutions that educate nurses must establish creative partnerships to provide innovative learning environments for nursing students to improve their skills while working together with professionals from multiple disciplines to address the broad range of social determinants that influence health. Global Service Learning (GSL) offers a model for promoting culturally compassionate learning and collaborative leadership skills while addressing global health issues. GLS is based on seven core principles with an aim of immersing students in service-learning experiences that are mutually beneficial to the learner as well as the population they serve.

The collaboration between the University of Hawaii at Mānoa (UHM) School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene and the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Partnership mission demonstrates this kind of engagement. The Pacific Partnership mission is an annual humanitarian assistance exercise to Asia and Pacific Island countries. Together with participants multiple countries and multiple disciplines, UHM nursing faculty and graduate students conduct training and educational exchanges with international participants, where they exchange best practices for on nursing care, disaster preparedness and public health.

The purpose of this presentation is to describe this GSL partnership between the UHM Nursing program and the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Partnership mission, and its influence on UHM Nursing participant’s ability to provide health services and education as part of an international, interdisciplinary team of providers and health educators. The target audience for this presentation is nursing educators, undergraduate and graduate nursing students interested in engaging in global health. Through shared efforts in health promotion, students improve their capacity to work side-by-side with people of diverse cultural backgrounds and professional training; they develop a deeper understanding of how improvements in global health are accomplished; and they build confidence in identifying themselves as global health nurse leaders.