Nurses Tell Their Global Stories in a New Book Edited by Chris Harlan

Today, Springer Publishing released Global Health Nursing: Narratives From the Field, a book on global nursing edited by clinical assistant professor Chris Harlan. The book is Ms. Harlan’s first.

“My dream for many years was to write a global health nursing book,” said Ms. Harlan. “I didn’t want it to be a textbook. I wanted it to be a collection of narratives.”

Ms. Harlan, MA, RN, brought together 23 nurses who traveled to locations as remote as the jungles of Indonesia or as accessible as Boston, MA to share the challenges and rewards that come with delivering care in foreign countries. In each chapter the authors tell stories about the cultural differences as well as the emotional struggles they went through as they adapted to new cultures. They also provide advice for nurses who are considering serving overseas.

Of those 23 authors, some were Ms. Harlan’s former students in Nursing 489, a summer course designed to give students experience in global health. Jane Calthrop, BSN ‘14, described how her upbringing abroad inspired her to volunteer for a service trip to Guatemala. Mike Olufemi, BSN ‘14, who is originally from Nigeria, wrote about his experience working with AIDS patients at a men’s health center in Melbourne, Australia. In the last chapter of the book, Ruth-Anne McLendon, BSN ‘14, shares her SON Honors project. After working in a hospital in Senegal, she developed “Nous Sommes Ensemble,” a resource to help nurses prepare for practicing in cross-cultural settings.

SON alums Christina Kim, BSN ‘06, MSN ‘11, Naomi Blackman, BSN ‘06, and Kim Larson, PhD ‘11 also shared their global health stories. Ms. Kim recalls a move to Ghana with her husband and how it influenced her work with Spanish-speaking patients in the United States, Ms. Blackman recounted the beginning of her career as field nurse with Doctors Without Borders, and Dr. Larson wrote about how her early peace corps work in Honduras has influenced her career in public health. Former SON adjunct professor Pamela McQuide also contributed a chapter on her work in Haiti and several countries in Africa.

“This book has the whole range of nursing,” said Ms. Harlan. “From pediatrics to psych-mental health, from students to doctorally prepared nurses, I wanted there to be something every reader could relate to. These stories are compelling and a wonderful resource for any nurse or nursing student who wants to gain experience in global health.”