University of Wisconsin–Madison
Student Nurses in Malawi, posing with cute, Malawi children making the "W" symbol with their hands.
Nursing Students teaching young people in Malawi about public health

Global Health

The School of Nursing offers a variety of opportunities for students to gain experience in global health, working in partnership with other campus programs. Students expand their global health experience through nursing practice experiences with individuals, families, and communities, and through exposure to other health systems. With hands-on experience in a global setting, students experience core nursing concepts such as social justice, culturally congruent care, and ethics in a new way. Active engagement with students and staff from a variety of health professions who have diverse backgrounds affords another opportunity to develop skill with interprofessional collaboration.

Traditional BSN Student Opportunities

Each summer, students in the Traditional BSN program can participate in a global experiential course, currently offered in Malawi or Thailand. Typically, nursing study abroad experiences last for three weeks with approximately 45 course hours of preparation completed on campus prior to departure. In partnership with local preceptors, students focus on health promotion and disease prevention, providing care suited to the needs of diverse populations and the context in which they live. Completion of these summer immersion experiences satisfies N436 Health and Illness Concepts with Individuals, Families, and Communities: Experiential Learning. For more information, visit the Rural and Global Immersion section of the Student Site. 

Undergraduate students can opt to earn credit for nursing research by participating in a study abroad experience with the School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Systems at University College Dublin in Ireland. Students learn about the importance of evidence for practice, strategies for appraising research and about nursing research design, process and methods. Learning occurs as students enjoy Irish society and culture. Program length varies from two to four weeks in June. Learn more on the Rural and Global Immersion section of the Student Site. 

Doctor of Nursing Practice Student Opportunities

Each May the School of Nursing partners with the School of Medicine and Public Health’s physician assistant (PA) program to provide primary care to citizens in rural, underserved villages around Independence Belize. DNP and PA students, led by faculty and local healthcare providers, offer care Monday through Friday for one week. Students participate in a mid-week and weekend excursions, which extend the trip to approximately 10 days. On-campus preparation takes place before the immersion. DNP students earn required clinical practice hours. For more information, contact Molly Censky in the school’s Office of Academic Affairs.

Additional Global Health Opportunities and Resources

There are many additional opportunities for nursing students interested in global health issues and experiences available throughout campus. Some options include:

  • International Academic Programs: IAP is the university’s comprehensive resource for academic experiences worldwide. It offers more than 200 programs in 60 countries in collaboration with academic unites across campus. The School of Nursing partners with IAP to offer the summer clinical experiences and nursing research programs detailed earlier on this page.