Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice in Cyprus Utilizing Collaboration as a Fulbright Scholar

Monday, 22 July 2013: 10:45 AM

Marietta J. Bell-Scriber, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN
School of Nursing, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL

Learning Objective 1: describe at least 1 challenge related to collaboration at the international level

Learning Objective 2: identify at least 2 evidence-based factors influencing successful collaboration

Purpose: In 2010-11, this US nurse educator traveled to Cyprus to collaborate with public health nurses and nursing faculty from universities in the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, supporting STTI’s vision and mission to improve nursing care worldwide. In a country where peace talks are held sporadically with no impending agreement and peace is kept by a United Nations’ peace force that monitors the border between the two countries, collaborative efforts were sometimes challenged.

Methods: During a 9 month stay, this Fulbright Scholar traveled back and forth across the buffer zone to support successful collaborative outcomes.

Results: One of the successful outcomes included partnering with the Turkish Cypriot Health Ministry’s nurses to educate their Public Health Nurses in evidence-based end-of-life care and Family Nursing Theory. This education provided them with an opportunity to change their nursing practice to a family-centered approach. As a result of this education, five new documentation forms were created and are now being utilized in the Turkish villages. Another successful outcome occurred in the Greek Cypriot community where we were able to create an evidence-based Transcultural Nursing course that was piloted for one semester and remained to be utilized as an elective in their undergraduate nursing curriculum. In the context of this pilot course, Greek nursing students were able to demonstrate in post-course evaluations their ability to challenge some longstanding biases and prejudices that ideally may provide benefits beyond this course. A collaborative initiative that was not as successful is also shared where there was an attempt to present a bicommunal seminar on evidence-based health promotion to Turkish and Greek nurses, educators, and students with the intention of bridging separation and conflict.

Conclusion: Collaboration is a complex process where evidence-based factors can be used to analyze why some collaboration initiatives are more successful than others.