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Georgia Southern professor is helping to develop international standards for nursing education

School of Nursing Chair and Professor Jean Bartels was one of 30 international leaders in nursing who met recently in Bangkok, Thailand, to begin developing global standards for basic nursing and midwifery education. The meeting was called by the World Health Organization, and Bartels attended as a representative of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

‘The goal of this meeting was to define minimum education standards for an estimated 11 million nurses and midwives around the globe,” said Bartels. ‘If we reach a consensus on minimum requirements for nursing education, the result will be a better educated health care work force. Ultimately, all nations will have better patient outcomes.”

According to a report from Sigma Theta Tau International, the honor society of nursing, the lack of global education standards creates issues for quality care, the immigrating nurse, the potential employing agency and the recipient country. While many nations have developed standards for nursing practice and education, the standards apply only to one region or country.

During the three-day meeting, participants developed key elements for proposed standards in five areas: educational program admission criteria; educational program development requirements; educational program content components; nursing and midwifery faculty qualifications; and nursing and midwifery program graduate qualifications.

The next steps in developing standards include a comprehensive review of the standards that exist, development of proposed global standards, and broad circulation and review of the proposed standards. The target date for completion of the WHO and Sigma Theta Tau report is January 2008.

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