Departments: From the Front Lines to the Back Page
In 2012, an e-mailed query about nurse internships connected an Egyptian nurse with one in rural Vermont. The two nurses shared an interest and passion for supporting nurse development through internships. A practice gap was identified by the Egyptian nurse, as her country’s health system offered no formal preceptor preparation or internship curriculum. The Vermont nurse shared models and resources developed for regional use in her state, and the Egyptian nurse applied these and other tools to develop and deliver a graduate nurse internship as part of her doctoral studies. A strong mentoring and collegial relationship grew and transitioned out of their shared passions over the following years. Skype, What’s App, and Google Hangouts supported discussions, document sharing, and in-person communications.
The Vermont nurse volunteered time and talents as a research advisor and copy editor for the Egyptian nurse. Through this interesting work, she gained a much stronger understanding of qualitative research methodology, English grammar, grounded theory, professional knowledge development, English as a second language, themes matrix, interpretivism versus positivism, theoretical sampling, English sentence structure, concept mapping, code mapping, middle range theory development, and much more. Outcomes of the linkage include the delivery of strong graduate nurse internships, preceptor development, travel to foreign places, qualitative research studies, international collaboration, and pending recommendations related to preceptor roles, qualifications, and effective development within the context of the Egyptian medical system.
Fast forward to the winter of 2019—and the two nurses recently completed a consulting visit at Aswan Heart Center (AHC) in Aswan, Egypt (https://myf-egypt.org/aswan-heart-center/#services). Mahmoud Abdelhay, AHC Nursing Director, has engaged them for a 3-year project to contextualize an international competency framework for nursing. The project team has named their efforts as the Nursing Alliance for Developmental Advancement.
In naming this project team Nursing Alliance for Developmental Advancement, we match the project’s purpose with the progressive mission of the Aswan Heart Center:
- offering free state-of-the-art medical care to the medically underserved populations of upper Egypt;
- training a generation of young Egyptians doctors, nurses, and scientists at the highest international standards; and
- advancing basic science and applied research within a facility that prioritizes biomedical research.
The project proposes to establish a safe and effective standard of practice for Egyptian nurses (interns, trainees, and new staff) transitioning to a new specialty by establishing evidence-based clinical competency assessment tools and a credentialing program for the nurse preceptor or clinical supervisor role.
The moral of this story, “You never know what might evolve out of responding to an e-mail message!”