Spring Sees Seeds of InteRNational Nursing Blossom

gator nursing

Like the season itself, spring collaborations were in full bloom at the UF College of Nursing, thanks to the latest cohort of visitors from Brazil during InteRNational Gator Nursing Week.

During a week of knowledge sharing about advanced nursing education, over 15 nursing faculty from seven Brazilian universities across the country learned how the nurse practitioner role, held by clinicians who possess a Doctor of Nursing Practice, fits into the American health care system, as well as how this clinical role could be implemented abroad.

According to associate professor and Associate Dean For Community Engagement And Global Affairs, Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini, PhD, RN, FAAN, who played a key role in beginning this collaboration and is also of Brazilian descent, this partnership is especially important as the nurse practitioner is not officially recognized in Brazil. Although the nurse practitioner role does not yet have a permanent place in Brazilian health care Associate Dean For Academic Affairs-Graduate Clinical Education Rene Love, PhD, DNP, PMHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, added that this visit was another opportunity for Brazilian faculty and leaders to take insights from the state’s preeminent school of nursing back to help transform the profession at home.

“These faculty are incredibly grateful for the work that is being done here to support nurse practitioner education in Brazil,” Stacciarini said. “I am so proud to be part of this commitment to education in the global sphere.”

While on-site, the visitors got a firsthand look at care teams at UF Health Shands and Archer Family Health Care to see how nurse practitioners ‘fit’ into the health care puzzle, as well as familiarize themselves with the comprehensive care they provide. To get an up-close and personal showcase of the college’s research and innovation, some faculty participated in this year’s Nursing Research Summit and Malasanos Lectureship, presenting projects that attempted to solve complex challenges facing the health care system today.

During their time stateside, the Brazilian visitors also learned what it truly means to be a part of the Gator Nation. A tour of the campus and warm welcomes from UF International Center Dean, Marta Wayne, as well as the president of the from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, April Kapu and the Executive Director of Florida Board of Nursing, Joe Baker, made these international visitors feel like they like they had a seat at the table to discuss the broader health care conversation.

But according to the visitors, the most impressive aspect of the tour was seeing firsthand just how committed faculty, students and alumni were about DNP education, as well as serving a varied community in Florida.

 “It was truly impressive to see the involvement from UF and the broader nursing community.” said Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina professor, Neide da Silva Knihs, PhD. “UF truly cares beyond education. I enjoyed hearing their insights, as well as the step-by-step overview of nurse practitioner roles.”

An exchange opportunity over ten years in the making, this visit marked the third time that Brazilian leaders committed to the development of nurse practitioners had the opportunity to visit UF. During this visit, the college also had a special guest in attendance, Federal Nursing Council (COFEN) representative, Neyson Freire.

COFEN oversees the development, recognition and regulation necessary to implement advanced practice nursing in Brazil.  Thanks to the college’s rigor and impact, plans to officially recommend UF to become the official university liaison and support for nurse practitioner education in Brazil are now in the process of being drafted by the council.

Even before returning home, visiting faculty planned new ways to help their institutions develop graduate nursing offerings, as well as integrate their knowledge to reimagine advanced nursing practice in Brazil.

“I personally insisted that my university brought me here again.” said Maria de Fatima Veisomo, PhD, RN, associate professor and associate dean of the College of Nursing at the University of São Paulo. “Words cannot express how much we learned here and will bring home with us.”