The USD Nursing department received a grant from the Matson Halverson Christiansen Hamilton Foundation, which is part of the Global Rural Nursing Exchange Network (GRNEN) initiative.
Anne Pithan, USD department chair of nursing, and Lisa Feller, USD academic site director for the nursing department, are leading the project as the co-investigators.
This project will connect USD nursing students with students from the Kibosho School of Nursing in Moshi, Tanzania through an online platform.
Feller said the goal of this collaborative project is to assess the care given to the rural elderly population in South Dakota and in Tanzania.
“The purpose of the project is to promote interprofessional and global collaboration between nursing programs, and because our world is becoming much more diverse and interconnected, it’s important for us, our nurses, to develop skills and work with people throughout the world,” Feller said.
Students will receive clinical college credit for being involved with the project, one of which will be paid for by the grant itself. Pithan said this grant will allow students to connect and learn from each other.
“For two different cultures to come together to learn from each other is so valuable. What we’re hoping is that it translates to a new understanding of different cultures and new cultural humility to really see all the gifts other cultures bring to nursing and be able to dialogue and share that,” Pithan said.
The project will take place this coming year during April and May. Feller said students will come up with their own individual plans to better the care given to the elderly rural population globally and in South Dakota.
“Students will be able to really individualize their plan of care for the elderly based on their assessment findings,” Feller said. “They’ll be able to see how different the needs are between rural elderly in South Dakota and rural elderly in Tanzania, Africa, and what the access to resources are and the difference in the standard of care might be. So there’s a lot to learn as well as learning how to work with each other.”
Both Feller and Pithan said this grant will help students connect with the global population, along with giving future nurses perspective and knowledge.
“The goal is for them to not only learn about differences in caring for the rural elderly population, but also to develop competencies and working with global populations… and to develop skill in the nursing area,” Feller said.
Pithan said they’re excited to be living and practicing the USD nursing mission.
The USD’s nursing department mission statement is as follows: “The Department of Nursing develops exceptional practitioners, leaders, and scholars who advocate for and improve the well-being of all people, particularly those in rural and underserved communities. To benefit the workforce needs of South Dakota, the region, and beyond, we emphasize academic excellence, practical experience, and public service within an interprofessional, learner-centered, collaborative environment.”