Global Experiences

At GW Nursing, we believe including a global perspective is key to providing comprehensive nursing education so we offer community health experiences in five different destinations: Uganda, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and two locations in Haiti (Caracol & Thomonde). 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 on what's needed to prepare for your trip.

GW Nursing in Costa Rica

Costa Rica

GW Nursing partners with Universidad Hispanoamericana and Universidad de las Ciencias y el Arte to provide a wide spectrum of learning activities.

GW Nursing in Uganda


GW Nursing partners with Omni Med, which has been training and maintaining community health workers in the Mukono District of Uganda since 2008.



All students must be in good academic standing (passing all courses in your program of study).  Students must also be team players that are adaptive, flexible, have the ability to work in stressful conditions.

Accelerated BSN, RN-BSN & Veterans BSN:

  • Must be in third or fourth semester of study with a passing grade in all courses
  • Submit the name of academic advisor (no letter needed) and their contact information

RN to NP:

  • Must be enrolled in the clinical component of the program
  • Must have approval of academic advisor and program director

NP programs (including Nurse-Midwifery):

  • Must be in the clinical component of your program (i.e. NP II or III)
  • Must have approval of academic advisor and program director

DNP or MSN Nurse Leadership:

  • Must be in good academic standing 
  • Must have approval of academic advisor and program director.

GW Nursing objectives (may vary from 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 4117 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 4117 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.


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!  [link to 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.

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