Yale nursing’s international approach brings care and education to Africa

A medical instructor demonstrates how to position the head so as not to block the airway of a person suffering from an overdose.

Ann Kurth, dean of Yale’s School of Nursing, wants you to understand the vital importance of nurses and midwives to healthcare systems around the globe, including in sub-Saharan Africa and other developing regions.

Nurses run hospitals. They run entire health systems, yet despite their immense contributions, they don’t always get recognized for their capabilities,” said Kurth, the Linda Koch Lorimer Professor of Nursing and an expert in global health. “They are often overlooked as candidates for leadership opportunities that would enable them to contribute in an even greater way. This is simply wasteful.”

Nurses touch nearly every aspect of health care in the United States and around the globe, notes Kurth. The World Health Organization has noted that 80% of all healthcare worldwide is delivered by nurses and midwives. In the U.S., the National Academy of Medicine has pointed out that improving the health system will rely on allowing nurses to practice to the full scope of their training.