Worldwide, nurses comprise the largest proportion of health care professionals and are the backbone of health care systems. To address the large global health disparities, the development of a robust nursing profession needs to be a critical goal in countries and regions with minimal human resources for health and huge disease burden. The African region bears 25% of the disease burden and only 1% of healthcare workers whereas North America has 3% of disease burden and 30% of the healthcare workforce. To improve global health and primary care delivery it is vital to understand current nursing care needs and practices, and outcomes of nursing care provided. This requires research expertise to collect and critically analyze data an identify priorities and gaps.
In collaboration with Columbia Global Center | Africa, the Forum of University Nursing Deans of South Africa (FUNDISA) (a unified platform to pursue excellence in nursing scholarship at Universities in South Africa and promote nursing practice, research, and education in collaboration with other stakeholders), the University of Malawi/Kamuzu College of Nursing, and the University of Nairobi School of Nursing, we propose to establish a cross- regional core convening group of nurse leaders and researchers in global health; develop a database of nurse and midwife leaders involved in regional research and program evaluation; plan and convene a research summit to identify and reach consensus on gaps in knowledge and priorities for nursing research to address global needs for education and research, and develop a dissemination of recommendations and implementation plan for support for nursing research with a mentorship component. We will then develop sustained networks of nurse researchers as part of interdisciplinary collaborative teams throughout the two global regions included in this initial conference (North America and Sub-Saharan Africa). This template will then be introduced in collaboration with the Columbia Global Center | Middle East to extend this model of gap analysis and program planning to other CU Global Centers.