At GW Nursing, we believe including a global perspective is key to providing comprehensive nursing education so we offer community health experiences in three different destinations: Uganda, Slovenia and Costa Rica. Students are able to participate in these experiences three times a year: November, March, and July.
Each global trip offers students an introduction to community health. Requirements, expectations and objectives may vary from trip to trip so please consult the program director or trip faculty for specific information. Consult this overview of what's needed to prepare for your trip.
Effective immediately, the university is suspending all upcoming non-essential, GW-affiliated international travel for students, faculty and staff. This includes future group trips, spring break programs and individual travel. It also includes requests for approval of future international travel and remains in place until July 1. GW community members returning from travel within Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-designated Level 3 Travel Warning countries (which today comprise China, Iran, Italy and South Korea) will continue to be required to self-quarantine off campus for 14 days. This requirement applies even if individuals are only traveling through airports in those countries.
GW Nursing partners with Universidad Hispanoamericana and Universidad de las Ciencias y el Arte to provide a wide spectrum of learning activities.
GW Nursing partners with Omni Med, which has been training and maintaining community health workers in the Mukono District of Uganda since 2008.
A new partnership and a first in Europe, GW Nursing works with University of Maribor in faculty, students and simulation initiatives.
GW Nursing objectives (may vary by trip):
- Conduct home visits with community health workers and work collaboratively to support current programs aimed at promoting health and reducing disease in Quito and surrounding areas.
- Provide screening for adults and children – screening and surveillance may include hypertension, anemia, malnutrition, diabetes among others.
- Provide education aimed at preventing or reducing acute and chronic health problems, including communicable and non-communicable disease.
- Hypertension screening for all adults ages 18+, obese individuals, pregnant women, and persons with a known diagnosis of diabetes or hypertension.
- Prepare and provide health education in schools and community clinics as assigned.
- Work collaboratively with health providers in providing basic health services in clinics, home visits, health education and screening.
- Gather data on the demographics and health and medical conditions in the population served to identify the health needs of the population in order to develop appropriate educational interventions for future trips
GW Nursing Proposed Activities for Achieving Goals and Objectives:
A GW Nursing team leader with substantive experience in short-term nursing trips in resource-poor countries will guide and support students during the trip. GW Nursing faculty will bring a wide range of experience, expertise, skills, and knowledge to the inter-professional team.
Nursing students will work primarily in community health and health education areas. A GW Nursing team will develop and present health education materials translated into Spanish and/or participate in current health education projects already established by our host country partner. Accelerated BSN students will research and prepare educational materials prior to trip under the guidance of the NURS 4217 Community Health Nursing Course Coordinator and Clinical Faculty member to meet course requirements.
All students are expected to attend pre-trip meetings to begin team building, understand role expectations and prepare for the trip. Meetings may be held at the Foggy Bottom campus in Washington D.C. or the Virginia Science & Technology Campus in Ashburn. Students may be required to meet with NURS 4217 Course Coordinator and/or to review clinical objectives and course outcomes. To help students get the most out of your experience, faculty will require reading assignments, presentations and other materials.
We welcome students from ALL SON undergraduate programs to apply who meet the following criteria:
- Successful completion of two semesters of their program of study.
- Be in good academic standing from time of application through time of trip, as defined as passing all courses (with 3.0 or higher) in your program of study.
- Be able to provide a minimum of two faculty recommendations (1 clinical and 1 didactic) to support their applications.
- Submit a brief essay/ statement of purpose in support outlining interest in global health.
- Must attend required 4-5 pre-departure meetings and post-trip debriefing meeting.
Make sure you have all vaccinations, malaria prophylaxis, and meds you need. Your program director will provide the requirements specific to your trip.
Safety and Security
- Follow advice of GW Office of International Operations and Pre-departure safety lecture at all times.
- Do not leave the facility alone. If you want to walk at night go with at least one other person and notify faculty team leader.
- Do not give money or personal items to anyone
- Do not wear conspicuous jewelry or watches
- Avoid speaking about political views
- Stay hydrated!!
HIPPA and patient privacy – the policies regarding privacy and confidentiality are no different when traveling abroad. Respect the decision of patients and members of the community who do not want to be photographed, ALWAYS ask permission! View GW Nursing policy
IMPORTANT! The nature of international medical work can be highly unpredictable and sometimes trips may be postponed or canceled as a result of weather, political situations, disease or many other circumstances beyond our control.
NURS 4217: Epidemiology & Community Health Nursing
NURS 4217 is an introduction to the principles of community and public health nursing with an emphasis on vulnerable populations. Epidemiologic, demographic, economic, and environmental health factors will be used to identify community-oriented strategies aimed at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of prevention.
Accelerated B.S.N., RN-BSN & Veterans may receive up to 40 clinical hours in satisfaction of the NURS 4217 Epidemiology & Community Health clinical practicum requirements.
NURS 6001: Clinical Experience in San Jose, Costa Rica
In this all nursing trip, students team up with nursing students and faculty from Universidad de las Ciencias y el Arte and Universidad Hispanoamericana to provide basic health care, health screening and patient education to children and adults in various facilities including; local health clinics, schools, daycare and community home visits in San Jose, Costa Rica.
NURS 6003: Clinical Experience in Mukono District, Uganda
This is an all nursing trip in collaboration with GW partner Omni Med, an NGO that has been empowering international communities through health training since 1998. Based on the needs of the community, students will focus on training volunteer community health workers to screen for hypertension and provide health education programs on topics such as maternal-child health, sanitation and nutrition in Mukono District, Uganda.
There was a gratitude you would see from people that doesn't happen here. I'm probably guilty of that when I go to the doctor too. If you have insurance here, health care is just a right and we treat it as such. There, little old ladies came up and gave us hugs and kisses. Those were the moments I realized I was doing a good thing.
Taylor Wilson Hill
GW Nursing Accelerated BSN alumna