Finding Common Ground: The Global Alliance for Leadership in Nursing Education and Sciences

CynthiaPhotoOn September 11th, 2014, CASN’s president, Linda Ferguson, and I travelled to Cartagena, Columbia for a meeting of GANES, the Global Alliance for Leadership in Nursing Education and Sciences.  GANES membership consists of CASN, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the Association of Latin American Faculties of Nursing (ALADEFE), and the Forum of University Deans of South Africa (FUNDISA). It was our first time conducting a meeting in three languages (English, Spanish, and Portuguese) and our goal was to create new strategic directions for GANES.

Going into this meeting, I wondered whether we would be able to bridge the diversity of language, culture, and health systems to find enough common ground to build international action plans for nursing education.   Almost immediately I began to hear familiar stories: difficulties in securing clinical placements for students; the need for guidelines to determine where simulation fits into nursing curricula; a shortage of nurses in rural areas; a need for greater harmonization of educational programs for advanced practice nurses; the connection between baccalaureate prepared nurses and positive outcomes.   There was an excitement among the group as we considered the number of nursing education programs and nurse educators represented at the meeting, and the potential impact we might have on the health of populations worldwide as well as in our own countries if we worked together.  By the end of the day, we had identified high priority issues faced by associations of schools of nursing around the world and had developed a strong commitment to work together to advance the quality of nursing education on a global scale. Now GANES is charged with creating feasible actions that we must complete to address these issues.

What actions should an international organization of schools of nursing associations take to improve nursing education worldwide? Tweet your ideas or leave a comment on the CASN Facebook page using #GANES.
Cynthia Baker, RN, PhD.
Executive Director, CASN