Nurses—Making a Difference in Global Health

Nurse Stories: Develop a global partnership for development

Global Learning Partnerships: 
Bridging the Primary Health Care Theory/Practice Gap

Although some progress has been made by a few Canadian Universities when it comes to building global health and development into nursing curriculum, there is a long way still to go before all Canadian nursing students have the opportunity to explore nursing from a global perspective.

Most nursing students are exposed to the principles of primary health care, but how prepared are they to take these principles and put them into practice?  Bridging the primary health care theory/practice gap can be accomplished through the development of global learning partnerships. Such partnerships allow nursing students to become immersed within a different culture where they can learn about other health care systems, and effective and efficient approaches to health improvement and community development.

In 1992, the Jamkhed Institute for Community-Based Health and Development, in rural Maharashtra, India, was established as part of the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP) to train local, national and international students and leaders about the Jamkhed Model of community-based primary health care.

CRHP invites students, faculty, and staff in such disciplines as nursing, public health, medicine, allied health, and development, to visit Jamkhed to take part in a one or two month training course, an elective, internship, or fellowship, or to work on a research project. Internships are also available in North America through Jamkhed International – North America (JINA).

To date, over 2,000 people from over 100 countries and 9,000 people from India have been trained at the Jamkhed Institute, including government and non-governmental workers, community members, students, project managers, clinicians, and policy makers.  Information about training and research opportunities can be found on the CRHP website.

The availability of global learning partnerships is an essential piece of a well-designed nursing curriculum. Having the opportunity to actually see how theory can be put into practice to improve the health and living conditions of individuals, families and entire communities, can be an invaluable learning experience.


Comprehensive Rural Health Project

Author’s Contact Information

Lee Mantini RN, MHScN
Health and Development Consultant
RR3 Picton, Ontario Canada, K0K 2T0