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Global Health Professional Practice Placements

Global Health Professional Practice Placements offer senior-year nursing students an unparalleled opportunity to learn about various aspects of working in nursing abroad, including:

  • the broad determinants of the health of diverse populations;
  • comparative health care systems; and
  • the role of the nurse in cross-cultural and resource-constrained environments.

This page is designed to help BScN students from McMaster University, Mohawk College and Conestoga College to plan a successful placement in areas of the world for which there may be limited resources and support.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide our BScN students with the highest quality of educational experience in an international or intercultural setting.

Our History

Since 1984, the faculty and staff at the McMaster School of Nursing have facilitated the placements of over 240 students in more than 25 countries worldwide and in 6 provinces and 3 northern territories in Canada.

In 2010, the Associate Dean established the Global Health Education Committee (GHEC), created to advance the practical and academic goals of this process.

Chair, McMaster Site   

 ​Alida Bowman
 905.525.9140 x 22​087
bowmanam@mcmaster.ca

Liaison, Conestoga Site

Marcella Veenman-Mulder  
veenmaml@mcmaster.ca

 


 

Liaison, Mohawk Site

Deborah Davidson
905.575.1212 x 6827
deborah.davidson@mohawkcollege.ca

Application Submission

Mediha Kadic

905.525.9140 x 20843
kadic@mcmaster.ca

Related Topics

Fall Orientation/Information Session and Re-entry Session
Wednesday September 13th at 4:00 pm
Room TBA via Avenue to Learn

Winter Global Health Re-Entry Session
Wednesday January 10th at 4:00 pm
Room TBA via Avenue to Learn

Learn More About the Program  

The application process for a Global Health Professional Practice Placement is continually adjusting to meet the needs of students, host organizations and the program. This brief section outlines the process and steps expected for this type of professional practice placement.

​How to get started:

Activity Levels
 1
Review Placements Search to contact one or more of the 'returned' students and ask them how they prepared for their placement. Negotiate a mentorship relationship with one of them.  x  x    
 

Register for the Introduction to Concepts in Global Health course:  Offered in the Winter Term of level 3 for Basic and RPN to BScN applicants who will have placements during the Spring/Summer and Fall terms of the same year. Spring/Summer offering is available for applicants in the accelerated stream who will have a placement during the fall term.
Note: Students in the RPN to BScN stream entering level 3 who are unable to take N4H03 in the winter of the following year and students in the Basic stream entering level 4 in the fall of the same year may also be able to take N4H03 in the Spring/Summer.

McMaster site: Nursing 4H03 

Mohawk site: Collab 4H03 

Conestoga site: Collab 4H03 (normally offered in winter term of Level 3).
     x  
 Attend information sessions periodically given by the Global Health Education Committee.   x  x  
 Attend re-entry sessions to hear about experiences of returning students (from summer and fall placements).   x  x  x  x
 Consider joining Global Understanding through Nursing Initiatives (GUNI). Members are composed of nursing students who have gone or are planning to go on an international or remote ​Canadian professional practice placement.  x  x  x  x
 Before departure (Spring/Summer or Fall term), participate in a mandatory, one-day, pre-departure workshop (normally in April).      x  

 

Note: In any year, follow application procedure and steps based on the planned date of your departure.

Global Health Professional Practice Application Process

How to Apply:

Please review the steps involved in obtaining a Global Health Professional Practice Placement as outlined in the Application Process Form
Global Health Application Form

Students in the accelerated stream may contact the academic advisor to confirm course credit eligibility. Once approved they may only apply for Fall placements. These students may be able to take NURSING 4H03 in the Spring/Summer term and must attend the pre-departure workshop during the month of April.
Note: There will be NO exceptions to the deadlines listed in the application process form. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their file is complete.

Please send application in one email to Mediha Kadic, Program Coordinator kadic@mcmaster.ca.
Applications will also be accepted by hardcopy if submitted in-person to Mediha Kadic during the following times prior to the deadline: Monday to Friday 8:30-4:30 in HSC 2J36.

What to consider when selecting your Global Health Professional Practice Placement

Questions to consider:

  • What do you hope to gain, learn or give? How do you expect this experience will influence your career?
  • Do you want to challenge yourself with a unique and professionally enriching opportunity?
  • Which setting do you primarily want to experience: hospitalcliniccommunity or public health?
  • Do you want to learn about diseases or health problems that aren’t found in Southern Ontario?
  • Do you hope to gain experience in a different culture, language, or population than your own? Is there a specific culture, language or other population group with whom you wish to work?
  • Does the setting you are interested in have the necessary people and infrastructure to support your learning activities and to meet the course objectives?
  • Have you spoken with someone who has worked in the setting or one similar to where you want to go?
  • What personal strengths and challenges will you take to this placement?

Your placement should meet the following criteria:

  1. Be in a low- or middle-income country (preferably). If you are unsure, please contact a member of the GHEC to discuss the feasibility of your placement. 
    Note: If your focus is on indigenous peoples’ health, you can choose an outpost placement within Canada or select a rural setting with a large indigenous focus in a high-income country (e.g., Australia, New Zealand, etc.).
  2. Be preferably in a community setting to explore the role of the nurse in primary health care. Placements within Canada may have another focus, but rationale should be provided in the LOI (see ​application process form).
  3. Be able to accommodate your visit for the entire semester (Summer or Fall term).
  4. Be able to provide a registered nurse as preceptor who:
    • has experience in the field;
    • has preferably a BScN or equivalent degree;
    • speaks English and the language of care;
    • is willing to assess you at midterm and end-of-term; and
    • is able to facilitate learning experiences.

Housing and Transportation

Your discussions with your host organization should address the availability of safe and affordable accommodation near your clinical setting, as well as transportation arrangements.

Internet Connection

Access to Internet with reasonable bandwidth is necessary to facilitate communication with your tutor at McMaster.

Important Dates

Note: There will be NO exceptions to the deadlines listed below. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their file is complete.

Students in the accelerated stream may contact the academic advisor to confirm course credit eligibility. Once approved they may only apply for Fall placements. These students may be able to take N4H03 in the Spring/Summer term and must attend the pre-departure workshop during the month of April.

Professional Practice Placement Funding

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available to students who are completing a placement in Canada or abroad.

Many of our students have been successful in obtaining financial support for their Global Health clinical placement. Please ask them about this.

We can suggest some places to start looking (see below). We suggest that you speak with a representative of the financial aid office at your respective site.

  • The Awards Offices at each of our program sites (they have lists with criteria)
  • Your site’s School of Nursing (McMaster University, Conestoga College or Mohawk College)
  • The CNO
  • The RNAO
  • Nursing students' organizations
  • Rotary Club
  • Faith-based organizations

Links

Recommended Placements

The following organizations are those which have already shown promise that they are suitable for meeting the course objectives.

For placements marked with an asterisk (*), please contact Dr. Olive Wahoush . Such placements will be offered on a first come, first served basis, provided that all components of the application are successfully met.

For countries and organizations not specified on this table, please contact any member of the Global Health Education Committee to discuss the suitability of the potential placement.

Region

Location

Agency

Number of Placements Available

McMaster Faculty Most Knowledgeable (FMK)

Africa

Zambia

*Macha

Nurses’ Training School at Macha

Summer: 2

Fall: 2

Prof. Nina Cavey

South Africa

*Mafikeng

North West University

Summer: 1

Fall: 1

Prof. Gloria Charles

Asia

Nepal

Dhulikhel

Dhulikhel
Hospital

Summer: 2

Fall: 2

Drs. Ruth Chen & Olive Wahoush

Latin America & Caribbean

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Villa

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College

Summer: 1

Fall: 2

Prof. Gloria Charles

Grenada

St. George’s

Ministry of Health and Social Security

Summer 2

Fall: 2

Prof. Gloria Charles

Canadian North / Outpost

Ontario

 Kenora Lake of the Woods District Hospital

Summer:1

Prof. Deborah Davidson

Moose Factory

Weeneebayko Area Health Authority

Summer: 1

 

*Sioux Lookout

Meno-Ya-Win Health Centre

Summer: 1

Fall: 2

Prof. Deborah Davidson
 Manitoulin Island  Manitoulin Health Centre

 Summer: 1

Fall: 2

 

Espanola

Espanola Regional Hospital and Health Centre

Summer: 1

Yukon


 
 

Dawson City

Yukon Hospital Corporation

Summer: 1

 Whitehorse  Yukon Hospital Corporation  Summer: 1  
 Northwest Territories  Fort Smith  Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority  Summer: 1  Prof. Ruth Schofield

  

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