Nursing Conference Highlights U.S Trend of International Training

By Courtney Anderson

Participants pose at the reception in Seoul

Participants at the UCSF School of Nursing reception during the ICN conference in Seoul. Photo by KH Ruetten

In June, thousands of nurses and nursing students – including faculty and alumni from UC San Francisco School of Nursing – gathered in Seoul, Korea, for the International Council of Nurses (ICN) conference and Council of National Nursing Association Representatives (CNR) meeting, the largest international nursing event of the year.

Set to the theme “Global Citizen, Global Nursing,” more than one hundred countries took part in this four-day conference, which explored the importance of cross-cultural understanding and global cooperation in nursing.

"We [UCSF] are seen as a pioneer in global health nursing, but I also look at what we can learn from other countries,” said UCSF School of Nursing Associate Professor Jyu-Lin Chen, RN, PhD, FAAN. “We all have strengths and weaknesses and that’s how a conference like this can really improve global nursing, by learning from each other.”

For UCSF, this year’s conference was special on two fronts. First, the School of Nursing’s new Center for Global Health (CGH) was able to support faculty participation at the conference, after launching in October 2014.

Second, the conference afforded an opportunity for more than eighty UCSF alumnae now working internationally, to convene, share, and reflect on their work around the globe at a special reception hosted by the UCSF SON Center for Global Health.

The launch of this new Center for Global Health (CGH) and the record alumni attendance at ICN underscore a potentially major trend—nurses who train in the U.S. and return abroad to practice. 

Jill Howie Esquivel, RN, PhD, NP, an associate adjunct professor at UCSF, added "When I went to the UCSF alumni reception, I was really struck with how our alumnae are from all over the globe: Europe, Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Japan, Australia and many other countries.”

Read more about the event here.