For recent nursing graduates Huda Manfoukh and Brett Parent, the opportunity to work on an research assignment while undergrads was even more exciting since the project was part of an international collaboration.
Funded through University of Windsor’s Outstanding Scholars program and International Family Nursing Association (IFNA), the pair were involved in co-ordinating, collecting, and processing stories shared by nurses around the world, focusing on the shift in clinical practices driven by the pandemic. The stories will be featured in an ebook and highlighted by dean of nursing Debbie Sheppard-LeMoine at the 16th bi-annual IFNA conference in Dublin, Ireland, on June 21.
“By publicizing the stories, our hope is to generate more conversation about the global work of nurses with families,” says Dr. Sheppard-LeMoine. “Exchanging information and experiences would enable family nursing interventions and practices to be responsive, while providing nurses with support to effectively navigate through an ever-changing and challenging world.”
The stories were collected from around the world, including Canada, U.S.A., Spain, Brazil, Portugal, South Africa, Japan, Thailand, and France.
For Manfoukh and Parent, the opportunity presented many benefits.
“This is an extra-curricular project I undertook and for me, it felt great to make life-long global contacts,” says Manfoukh. “The idea of being able to grow my network, and to add this international experience to my professional portfolio, is something special considering opportunities like this don’t happen often at the undergraduate level.”
Parent adds: “In addition to hearing stories that provide different perspectives that could help advance nursing, I’m very grateful to be given the chance to connect with nurses on other continents and for me personally, to learn things that could benefit my own career.”
Team member Javier Castro Serrano from Spain’s University of Huelva valued overcoming challenges inherent of overseas collaboration.
“Certainly, there were obstacles we encountered along the way such as language barriers and odd meeting times because of multiple time zones,” says Serrano. “But the personal enrichment and my development of intercultural skills helped broaden my viewpoint of nursing. Thanks to Huda, Brett, and others, we were able to compare positive and negative points and improve our methodology.”
His professor Maria do Céu Barbieri-Figueiredo says the project, entitled “A Global Shift in Family Nursing Practice: Family Nursing Practice and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic,” raised issues of family nursing development worldwide.
“It was an excellent opportunity to include nursing students from Canada and Spain in these debates,” she said.
Currently, there are 20 stories collected for the ebook, with another five or so slated to complete the publication.