Certificates in Global Health Nursing Program

Throughout the world, nurses are at the forefront of both formal and informal health care systems, providing 80% to 90% of care to individuals in underserved areas, and caring for people where physicians are in short supply.

Other than short-term medical mission trips, it remains extremely difficult for nurses to get the broad-based experience and education that allows them to provide care for vulnerable populations. Additionally, there is a need to understand how to navigate cultural landscapes and bureaucratic requirements that are challenging and far different from those in the United States and other Western countries.

A new model of global nursing education that addresses these issues is clearly needed.

A Collaboration with Partners In Health

To address this issue, MGH Institute of Health Professions School of Nursing, in conjunction with clinicians at the world-renowned Partners In Health (PIH), has created two certificates in Global Health Nursing.

The programs – a 15-credit Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) and a 9-credit Certificate of Completion (CC) – offer an online curriculum that will prepare nurses to care for vulnerable persons of various cultural backgrounds in global settings.

By the time you complete the program, you will have the knowledge to create connections with the local population, and the confidence to contribute to effective global health care delivery clinically and organizationally.

Global health care delivery is an emerging, interprofessional field that combines health care delivery, research, capacity building, and an understanding of health systems and their challenges. Focused on resource-poor settings and vulnerable populations, a career in global health requires a broad knowledge base and the capacity to create innovative solutions to challenging health problems in these environments.

Faculty, including leading research scholars, from Massachusetts General Hospital, Partners In Health, and other prestigious health care institutions, will teach a curriculum guided by evidence-based competencies in global health care delivery.

Two Certificate Options Are Available

The curricula for both certificates will be grounded in scientific theory and evidence-based interventions. Students in the program will have direct contact with nationally renowned faculty and preceptors in the field of global health and infectious disease nursing. 

In their fieldwork, students will have the opportunity to participate in scholarly projects being conducted by researchers at the Institute and PIH, related to global health nursing care delivery.

Required courses for both certificates are:

  • NH-842: Introduction to Global Health
  • NH-826: Immigrant and Refugee Health
  • NH-845: Clinical Topics in Global Health

Students in the CAS will also take NH-844 Global Health Seminar, and the NH-846 Health Care Practicum that calls for 130 practice hours, including a practicum debriefing session.

The Global Health Seminar will occur in a synchronized classroom online to promote interactive dialog and sharing of experiences. Topics include:

  • The effects of burden of disease on specific populations
  • Health-related human resource strengthening initiatives
  • The role of nursing in care delivery in resource-constrained settings, and
  • How global health practitioners can create sustainable health solutions 

The final course includes placement in a global setting to work collaboratively with local nurses. The goal of this practicum is to promote bidirectional learning with practicing nurses and understand their role and scope of practice.

Post-MS Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS)
The 15-credit Certificate of Advanced Study is designed for advanced-practice nurses who would enter as post-graduate students and receive the CAS/GH upon completion. All courses are online, designed to give nurses the flexibility of completing the course while continuing to work. The collaboration with Partners In Health provides a practicum course in a global health setting or organization.

With the expectation that most students will work full-time while participating in the program, classes will be scheduled to accommodate their requirements. Students take 6 credits per semester, with the third semester comprising the practicum. The Institute’s three-semester academic calendar allows students to complete the program in one year. View Curriculum.

See the 15-Credit Certificate of Advanced Study Application Process for prerequisites and other admission requirements.

Certificate of Completion
The 9-credit Certificate of Completion, composed entirely of online courses, is an ideal option for registered nurses with a baccalaureate degree who are seeking a career with non-government organizations (NGOs) or hospital-based programs in global health.

No application form is needed and there is no formal matriculation for the Certificate of Completion. You register for courses as a non-degree student. Courses will be taken in the sequence noted above, beginning with NH-842 International Health. 

Participants interested in continuing for the Certificate of Advanced Study may apply for CAS admission.

MGH Institute Faculty for the Program

Contact Dr. Elissa Ladd for more information.

Review tuition and fees for the Global Health Nursing Certificate programs.

Review funding options for Global Health Nursing Certificate students.