Newswise — To help address the shortage of health providers that prevents universal access to care from becoming a global reality in many countries, Columbia University School of Nursing is continuing and expanding its work in global health as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Advanced Practice Nursing. “With unacceptable and inequitable global health disparities in health outcomes between high-income and low-income countries around the world, we have an urgent responsibility as nurses to make universal access to care a reality,” says Jennifer Dohrn, DNP, CNM, FAAN, director of Columbia Nursing’s Office of Global Initiatives. “Our continued role as a WHO Collaborating Center allows us to partner with educational institutions to prepare nurses in the skills needed to provide high quality care in regions where access to basic health care is very limited and people die needlessly from the very conditions nurses can be trained to prevent or treat.” Under new terms of the partnership with WHO, Columbia Nursing will be working to develop new roles for advanced practice nursing, improve clinical practice and research in nursing and midwifery, and expand the use of informatics and online learning programs in Latin America and Caribbean countries. The partnership also paves the way for Columbia Nursing to work, for the first time, with the University of São Paulo College of Nursing at Ribeirão Preto and Escuela de Enfermería Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. The collaboration with WHO is one of many projects led by Columbia Nursing’s Office of Global Initiatives that works to strengthen nursing education, clinical care, and research by fostering strategic partnerships in the context of population-based global health disparities. Jennifer Dohrn and Elaine Larson, PhD, RN, FAAN, CIC, associate dean for research, recently received funding from the Columbia University President’s Global Innovation Fund to support clinical research development of nurses and midwives in southern and eastern African countries and in the Middle East.

Columbia Nursing’s Office of Global Initiatives is a resource on global health equity and related issues for nurses and other health care providers, policymakers, and the public. By collaborating with key nursing leaders in the United States and around the world, the Office is dedicated to promoting advanced education and scholarly interchange among nurses involved in global health.

Columbia Nursing was initially designated as a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Midwifery in 1996. The school has been re-designated every 4 years since then, most currently in January, 2015. This most recent term is for 2015-2018. The school’s Center is one of seven WHO Collaborating Centers for Nursing and Midwifery in the United States and one of 44 in the world. The WHO designation recognizes Columbia Nursing’s expertise and commitment to advanced practice nursing.

Columbia University School of Nursing is part of the Columbia University Medical Center, which also includes the College of Physicians & Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, and the College of Dental Medicine. With close to 100 full-time faculty and 600 students, the School of Nursing is dedicated to educating the next generation of nurse leaders in education, research, and clinical care. The School has pioneered advanced practice nursing curricula and continues to define the role of nursing and nursing research through its PhD program which prepares nurse scientists, and its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), the first clinical practice doctorate in the nation. Among the clinical practice areas shaped by the School’s research are the reduction of infectious disease and the use of health care informatics to improve health and health care. For more information, please visit: