International partnership with Hacettepe University beneficial for both schools, students, faculty

Hacettepe University is a distinguished, highly advanced, research-based institution in the heart of Ankara, Turkey, and much like UAB, it educates many of the country’s nursing leaders

By Catie Etka

IMG 0611 RTIn the spring of 2013 the leadership of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing saw an opportunity to expand the School’s holistic nursing approach through a mutually beneficial international partnership in Turkey.

At the invitation of several Turkish foundations, a group of faculty visited many well-known universities in that county, but the ultimate decision on which one to work with seemed unanimous.

“When we arrived at Hacettepe University it was immediately clear to me that this was the school that we need to collaborate with,” said Linda Moneyham, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Moneyham was not alone in this feeling and for good reason. Hacettepe University is a distinguished, highly advanced, research-based institution in the heart of Ankara, Turkey, and much like UAB, it educates many of the country’s nursing leaders.

Hacettepe is so notably advanced that the school was one of the first in the world to offer a doctorate of philosophy in nursing. Still, there was a gap in its academic mentorship that, it was determined, UAB could fill. 

IMG 0560 RT “These international scholars often lack the hands-on research experience and mentoring from well-established research scholars that are essential to establishing programs of research, particularly in areas of research that are just emerging in Turkey,” said Moneyham. “So the Turkish scholars have come to UAB to work alongside our distinguished research faculty who are internationally known for their work in such areas as oncology, aging, palliative care, and clinical simulation. These collaborations have produced a number of collaborative research studies, publications and even major research funding. The system has worked really well.”

To date, the School has facilitated more than a dozen successful faculty and doctoral student exchanges in which each scholar’s area of interest is specifically matched with a UAB School of Nursing research faculty member.

For instance, one of the first scholars from Hacettepe, Imat Akyar, PhD, had an interest in continuing care for older adults and worked with Professor Marie Bakitas, DNSc, CPRN, NP-C, AOCN, ACHPN, FAAN for over a year on palliative care research. Akyar created a palliative-care research proposal to be modified for Turkey’s health-care system that earned funding from The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK).

“There is a growing network of nurse scientists working to improve access to palliative care in Turkey. Turkey has begun to see some progress; till now their research and implementation has been limited,” said Bakitas. “We are working closely with the scholars to bring knowledge and skills back to their communities to put it into practice in their local health-care settings."

The Turkish scholars currently visiting the UAB School of Nursing are:

IMG 0583 RT1Zehra Gok Metin, PhD – Gok Metin's interests lie in palliative care in oncology, geriatrics and heart-failure patients. She has worked as a clinical nurse in the neurological clinic and the NICU, as an industrial engineer and is currently a medical nursing research assistant at Hacettepe University. She earned her PhD in nursing in April 2015 and is working under the mentorship of Bakitas and Associate Professor Rita Jablonski-Jaudon PhD, CRNP, ANP-BC, FAAN.

IMG 0565 RTDuygu Hicdurmaz, PhD – Hicdurmaz’s areas of research include psychosocial care, palliative care, mental health of nurses and nursing students and cognitive-behavioral counseling. She has worked in nursing leadership and psychosocial counseling roles in a variety of clinical settings. She earned her PhD in 2010 and currently works as an Assistant Professor in Hacettepe University.  Hicdurmaz is mentored by Associate Professor Susanne Fogger DNP, CRNP, CARN-AP, PMHNP-BC, FAANP.

IMG 0572 RTHandan Boztepe, PhD – Boztepe’s research interests are family-centered care, innovation and evidence-based practice. She earned her PhD in 2010 and currently works as an Assistant Professor at Hacettepe University. Boztepe is mentored by Associate Professor Gwendolyn Childs, PhD, RN, and Associate Professor Lynn Stover Nichols, PhD, RN, BC, SANE.

IMG 0564 RTGulcan Bagcivan, PhD – Bagcivan’s research interests lie in oncology nursing, palliative care and epidemiology. Bagcivan currently works as a lecturer at Gulhane Military Medical Academy School of Nursing. She earned her PhD in nursing from Gulhane Military Medical Academy in 2012. She is currently pursuing her master’s in epidemiology at Hacettepe University. At UAB she is working under the mentorship of Bakitas and Professor and Associate Dean of Research Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN.

In the coming years the UAB School of Nursing also plans to send doctoral students to Hacettepe as well to learn the nursing landscape there, engage in scholarly research and gain a perspective on how nursing is practiced worldwide. 

“This is not just an exchange program. Both of our institutions have a unique wealth of knowledge to share,” said Moneyham. “This is the start of a long-term, collaborative partnership that will change the scope of international health care.”

Read 10348 times Last modified on December 10, 2015

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