About The Gazette Search Back Issues Contact Us    
The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University July 9, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 39
Unique Global Online Nursing Community to Expand Scope, Reach

By Lynn Schultz-Writsel
School of Nursing

An innovative and highly successful worldwide online community of practice based at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing has received funding that will broaden and enhance efforts to deliver connectivity and best practices to nurses and midwives worldwide.

The Global Alliance for Nursing and Midwifery Electronic Community of Practice will use a $450,000 grant from the international investment company Kentrik Group to expand its global outreach efforts and to create specific learning modules and online teaching materials for health care practitioners in diverse settings. Patricia Abbott, assistant professor, is the GANM CoP's director.

"This fund is critically important to ensuring the GANM's forward momentum in using information and communication technologies to 'reach and teach' geographically dispersed nurses and midwives," Abbott said. "Many of the world's most pressing health issues are occurring in places where access to best practices and knowledge resources are very low. Our online community has proven to be an effective tool in removing the constraints of geography."

Abbott said that the support from the Kentrik Group has arrived at a crucial time in global health. "We know from the [World Health Organization] 2006 World Health Report that the marked decline and migration of the nursing work force has reached crisis levels," she said. "Now we can address [two of] the root causes of the nursing and midwifery migration--isolation and marginalization."

The GANM CoP is based at the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing Knowledge, Information Management and Sharing. In 2005, in response to WHO actions to increase the use of information and communication technologies for knowledge management and dissemination, the center created the GANM CoP, a first-of-its-kind electronic community of practice specifically designed for nurses, midwives and other community care providers in diverse and frequently poorly accessible practice settings. Since the launch of the effort in 2006, the initial membership of 100 nurses and midwives has grown to a current total of 1,300 that includes public health practitioners and policy makers and draws representatives from 118 countries.

The $450,000 grant counts in the total of the Johns Hopkins Knowledge for the World campaign, which as of May 31 had raised more than $2.69 billion toward its goal of $3.2 billion.


The Gazette | The Johns Hopkins University | Suite 540 | 901 S. Bond St. | Baltimore, MD 21231 | 443-287-9900 | [email protected]