CGH Scholars Share Insight at the CNL Summit Conference

2017 CGH Scholars, Andrea Valdez, Emily Buongiorno, and Darrah Dickerson presented at the 2018 American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Clinical Nurse Leadership (CNL) Summit conference in Los Angeles. This national conference is geared towards current practicing CNLs, CNL students, faculty and both school of nursing and hospital administrators. The team gave a 20 minute podium presentation. "Global health experiences in CNL education: Case study of two projects in Guatemala using an innovative Human-Centered Design approach."  These scholars aim to inspire other CNL programs to incorporate global experiences into their programs and emphasize incorporating human-centered design, thorough pre-departure training, and sustained relationships with communities. They provided a short synopsis of the Women's Reproductive Health and Dental Health teams as they explained human-centered design.

Last summer, Andrea and Darrah traveled to San Lucas Tolíman, Guatemala. Their project title was "Analysis and Refinement of a Culturally Appropriate Women’s Reproductive Health (WRH) Curriculum in the San Lucas Tolíman, Guatemala and Its Continued Use in Both Rural Guatemala and the United States." This project included a three week pilot course developed with area community health workers and participating women in the community. The course focused on WRH and health promotion strategies. After completion of the course, team members evaluated the effectiveness of the curriculum alongside community members. The goal of the project was to use their findings in Guatemala to provide culturally relevant insight on the best practices of WRH education for ongoing programs targeting Latin American women in Charlottesville.

Emily worked in the same community of San Lucas Tolíman on the development of an individual-based dental health education module. This project aimed to answer the questions: Where are there gaps in knowledge in terms of dental health? What are individuals doing about their dental health? And, does providing individual dental health that is linguistically appropriate create passive or active behavior change? Emily's team gathered data through a community assessment of resources, awareness, current preventative behaviors, and local solutions in order to create an education resource to supplement knowledge deficits. The goal is to ultimately transfer this model to immigrant populations in the United States.

These former CGH Scholars write that often US-based CNL programs offer global health exposure through short-term elective courses, independent volunteering, or service learning experiences. The University of Virginia (UVa) CNL program incorporates global health exposure into the curriculum and provides opportunities for students to participate in global health clinical rotations for their community health pre-licensure course.

Their presentation at the CNL summit conference concluded that this educational approach has implications for sustaining global health research, and has a significant impact on CNL education and professional development.  According to their summary, participating CNL students garnered skills that will impact their practice as leaders in healthcare. They recommend that CNL programs should consider expanding community health curricula to embody global experiences with long term global partners and consider HCD as a sustainable model for community health projects.