University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing faculty – Associate Professor Deborah Kirk Walker, DNP, CRNP, NP-C, FNP-BC, AOCN; Marie L. O’Koren Endowed Professor Marie Bakitas, DNSc, CPRN, NP-C, AOCN, ACHPN, FAAN; and Assistant Professor Rebecca Sipples, DNP, RN, AOCNP, ACNP-BC – will represent the School at the upcoming 2016 International Conference on Cancer Nursing (ICCN) in Hong Kong.
The group will present on the topic, “Global Partnerships Enhance Palliative Care and Oncology Education for Nurses” as part of the event Sept. 4-7.
The conference’s theme is “embracing globalization through leadership and partnership in cancer care” and UAB School of Nursing faculty will describe the methods that have enhanced palliative care and oncology curricula for nurses in Malawi, Turkey and Alabama, and the resulting sustainable global partnerships in research, education and practice.
“Leaders at the UAB School of Nursing have successfully integrated collaborative projects in palliative care and oncology across the globe,” Walker said. “We will discuss our ongoing efforts to create and integrate evidence-based palliative care oncology curricula and research projects. We will also discuss how, through these efforts, we will continue to empower nurses to lead efforts to reduce global inequities for those effected by cancer and other serious and life-limiting illnesses.”
Providing information about collaborative efforts such as the work with Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey, in a global setting is very important, noted Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Linda Moneyham, PhD, RN, FAAN.
For example, the School has facilitated more than a dozen successful faculty and doctoral student exchanges in which each Turkish scholar’s area of interest is specifically matched with a UAB School of Nursing research faculty member.
“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 as they are in Turkey,” Moneyham said. “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, palliative care, aging and clinical simulation.
“These collaborations have produced a number of collaborative research studies, publications and even major research funding. The system has worked, and we need to share this knowledge with others around the world that might benefit from it.”
“There is a growing network of nurse scientists working to improve palliative care in Turkey, and several of those have come here to the School to further their educations,” she said. “We are working closely with these scholars to bring knowledge and skills back to their communities to put it into practice in their local health-care settings, and we want to provide information about our efforts with others who may also find it useful.”
Walker will make two other presentations as part of the trip. She has been invited to present during a preconference workshop on “Global Issues of Survivorship” and during a podium session, she will discuss “Integrating Oncology Content in Nursing Curricula in Malawi: A Fulbright Senior Specialist Experience.”
The ICCN is the annual gathering of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care, which is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people at risk for, or living, with cancer, promoting the nurse’s role in improving cancer care and developing nursing leadership in cancer-care delivery.
“The American Cancer Society reports that the global cancer burden is expected to double by 2030,” Walker said. “Given the global inequities in cancer care that will only amplify with the increased cancer burden anticipated by 2030, it is imperative that nurses lead efforts to advance health and strengthen education in those areas most in need.”
UAB School of Nursing faculty presenting at international cancer conference
Walker, Bakitas, Sipples to discuss methods for enhancing palliative care, oncology curricula at 2016 ICCN gathering in Hong Kong