Interesting innovations in nursing are now coming to you electronically. Consider the Global Alliance for Nursing and Midwifery (GANM), a community that discusses health care issues and exchanges ideas on the Internet (my.ibpinitiative.org/ganm).
Developed at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, GANM has a library and classrooms that allow nurses in isolated and low-resource areas to share information. “Even a nurse who’s using a computer with low bandwidth in an Internet cafÃ© in Botswana can get what she needs,” says Patricia Abbott, PhD, RN, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins who manages the project.
When disaster struck in Haiti earlier this year, GANM collected materials, had them translated into French and Creole, and made them available. The site, which has members from 142 countries, also allows health care workers in disparate places to share information and communicate with one another. Recently, a group running a health clinic above the Arctic Circle was seeking ideas for drawing Inuit to the clinic. Diamond hunters who had infiltrated the area had introduced natives to unhealthy foods and smoking, causing a spike in chronic disease. Solutions came from nurses in Bolivia and Iraq who had been working with health-care averse people. “This project has been so rewarding and humbling,” says Abbott. “I’ve learned that nurses have a lot of wisdom to share.”