Our world has become a "global village.” The role of the advanced practice nurse (APN) has expanded to include providing care to multicultural populations, both in the United States and abroad. It is an exciting time as we expand our care to assist in improving health care all over the world. The International SIG is a dynamic platform designed to provide an international exchange of ideas and insight as we all grow together providing care to diverse, underserved populations. Many APNs are choosing to participate in volunteer opportunities to provide health care in several underserved nations across the globe. This SIG will also provide a forum to discuss “lessons learned” in international health experiences abroad and share best practices in third-world countries.
In addition, colleges of nursing across America are offering their undergraduate and graduate nursing students international opportunities to work providing direct care to enhance their learning experiences. The International SIG can also provide a venue for APN faculty to obtain information about developing a successful international experience for their students by interacting with faculty who have been coordinating overseas experiences for years. The SIG can also serve as an exchange of ideas for providing culturally sensitive care to diverse populations, including international refugees.
In 2018, AANP's executive leadership supported the international committee’s efforts in developing an International Ambassadors Program. APNs from middle- and low-income countries were encouraged to apply to be considered for a scholarship to attend a national AANP conference. The inaugural program was a great success with more than 40 applications. Four international APNs were selected and attended the 2018 AANP National Conference on a full scholarship.
These ambassadors will also be invited to participate in the International SIG. Their participation in this SIG will be invaluable in helping us all to expand our vision and expertise in providing care to our “global village.” Join us in this exciting SIG!
I am proud to serve as Co-chair of the AANP International SIG, the creation of which has been a personal mission of mine for some time. I am so thankful AANP has created a place where everyone interested in international advanced practice issues can meet, dialogue and exchange ideas. Several years ago, we did a study of the individuals who attended the various international meetings we held at AANP and learned there are primarily two groups whose needs we should be addressing. The first group is composed of those individuals who provide direct clinical care such as through medical brigades or permanent work situations outside the U.S. The second group is composed of those individuals who consult, educate or generally serve in some leadership capacity around the world. Bearing all this in mind, I invite you to join the International SIG.
Dr. Cathy St. Pierre is a family nurse practitioner (FNP) with extensive experience in research, practice and academia. She has been nationally certified as an FNP since 1982. She is currently the Associate Chief Nurse of Research and a Nurse Practitioner at the ENRM VA Hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts. Dr. St. Pierre’s career path has primarily focused on serving the needs of various underserved populations, including: "pediatric and elderly populations living in poverty, high-risk adolescents and aging veterans, including those experiencing homelessness and displaced international refugees. I recently volunteered as a medical provider working in a medical mission in Guaimaca, Honduras. All of these experiences have shaped my interest in global and international health efforts. For the past three years, I have worked on the International sub-committee of AANP and look forward to serving as the Co-chair of the new inaugural International SIG for AANP in 2019. Please join us as we move this SIG to the next level!"
Join this growing SIG community and engage with other like-minded NPs with an interest in international advanced practice issues. Take part in interactive discussion and debate; gain support and explore Q&As; and always be on top of the latest available news, education and information.