For much of my nursing career, I functioned as a 100% American-minded nurse.
Even though the Ebola epidemic had trickled right into my city, before I attended a global health day at the United Nations (UN) during Nurses Week in 2015, I’d neglected to really consider nursing at the international level.
Until I listened to non-governmental organization (NGO) subject matter experts’ briefings and toured the restricted areas at the UN where global decisions were made, my view of nursing had been largely consumed with understanding things in my own backyard: my day-to-day struggles as a new nursing leader at work, the evolving Affordable Care Act (ACA), and finding ways to apply the IOM Report on the Future of Nursing to my own clinical and academic practice.
My mono-continental nursing mind began to open that day.
The briefings, and most importantly, the subsequent friendships I kindled with nurses involved in international policy work through NGOs like Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) and the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health, began to help me realize how interdependently we all practice together on a global stage and how attainable international involvement actually is.
Earlier this winter, a new nursing friend, Holly Shaw, PhD, RN, chair of the UN Advisory Council for STTI, asked me if I was attending the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress in Barcelona (May 27–June 1). I said I hadn’t even thought of it, […]