A nursing team led by Mary G. Schaal, RN, EdD, Associate Professor of Nursing, College of Health Professions, and Vice Chair and Director, Graduate Program in Nursing, College of Graduate Studies, hopes to return to Romania to follow up initiatives taken a year ago as part of Jefferson's international partnership program.
Dr. Schaal's team joined the program last March as the representative of Pamela G. Watson, RN, ScD, Chairman of the Department of Nursing, College of Health Professions, when the importance of general nursing expertise became evident. Following two visits to Romania, nursing team members think the Romanian priority should be to develop baccaulaureate nursing education programs first.
"Currently, nursing education is at about the level of technical or vocational high school in the United States," Dr. Schaal explains. "We want to help them first develop baccaulaureate programs so they can branch out into more specialized areas like occupational nursing."
The Jefferson team has already helped nurses in Romania organize and conduct their first national nursing conference last September. That experience has engendered a trusting relationship upon which both the Jefferson team and their Romanian counterparts want to build for the future. Helping Romanian health officials develop baccaulaureate nursing programs is part of Jefferson's new funding proposal to expand the healthcare partnership between Jefferson and Romania.