Global Health Scholar Program

Global Health Scholar Program

History and development:

In response to the increased interest in global health nursing and the increase in opportunities for our students to travel and study abroad, the University of Louisville School of Nursing (SON) is launching the Global Health Scholar Program.  This interprofessional program has two key elements; financial assistance to study and travel abroad and academic content that will assist graduate nursing students in preparing for possible careers in areas such as immigrant health, refugee services, international outreach and travel nursing.

Once students are selected for the scholarship, they must agree to meet the requirements set forth in this document.  The core of the educational offerings in this program was developed by Dr. Wm. Allen of the School of Medicine.  Dr. Allen has extensive experience in tropical medicine, pediatrics and adult health and has a strong interest in public health, poverty and the social determinants of health.

Late in 2013, Dr. Allen approached the SON to discern how our students might be able to participate in the School of Medicine’s (SOM) “Distinction in Global Health” program.  The SOM’s program is delivered over the four years of medical school and does not have a scholarship component.  To meet the needs of the graduate nursing students, this program has been revised in both scope and time, with interprofessional education as a foundation.

Note:  This is a scholarship program and is not an elective or credit bearing course.  Students will receive a letter at the completion of their requirements stating that they are a  Uof L School of Nursing Global Health Scholar.



The past ten years have shown an explosive growth in the interest in global health and tropical medicine among health professions  students.  Major gains in the areas of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and now the collected Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), have been realized.  There has been a significant reduction in childhood deaths during this period, yet as of 2010 there were still 7.6 million children dying yearly before the age of five with the vast majority of the deaths occuring in low income countries.(1) Now there is increasing recognition of the morbidity being placed upon the poor by not only infectious diseases but also chronic non-communicable diseases. Yet the list of health issues and disparities affllicting the poor in our own country is no less short only somewhat different as seen among the poor in urban centers, immigrant enclaves, and the Appalachia area.

It has been during this exciting and challenging time of growth in the field of global health that the interest among health professions students  has dramatically risen.  The students entering into the health care field today have a global perspective of health and disease. As a result a growing number of students seek opportunities to participate in global health projects locally, regionally, and internationally.  “Health science students participating in global health field experiences have been shown to be more likely to care for the poor and ethnic minorities, to change focus from sub-specialty training to primary care medicine, to report improved diagnostic skills, and to express increased interest in volunteerism, humanitarianism, and public health.”(2)

Global health emphasizes “transnational health issues, determinants, and solutions; involves many disciplines within and beyond the health sciences and promotes interdisciplinary collaborations; and is a synthesis of population-based prevention with individual-level clinical care.”(3).  The goals of the scholar program are to facilitate extensive interdisciplinary participation in the professional field of global health, to provide service-oriented learning in areas of health disparities, and to train and mentor the next generation of innovative health care leaders who care for the world’s poor and work globally to combat health inequities.

The Global Health Scholar Program would provide the opportunity and incentive for University of Louisville advanced practice nursing students to pursue their passions for global health through the completion of a directed program of activities that would prepare students with a foundation for global health care practice.   The student will participate in didactic classroom lectures, analyze and discuss required readings, participate in medical learning experiences abroad, or in the US and complete a capstone project focused on global health issues.

Although specific skills acquired by graduate nursing students will differ by the individual, the track will ensure that each student meets core competencies in global health. Focused readings and discussion groups on international health issues will allow each student to graduate with a richer understanding of current global health issues. Service-oriented learning will reinforce the abstract principles of readings, breakdown cultural barriers, and allow students to forge mutually beneficial relationships with individuals and organizations.

This program will ensure students become well-rounded and more marketable. The Global Health Scholar will continue to highlight the University's dedication to community engagement and cultivate compassionate healthcare providers more capable of connecting with patients from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds both internationally and locally.


Overview of requirements:

The course work set out in the program is a mixture of classroom didactic  teaching, small group sessions, independent study, and overseas electives. Topics that will be covered include tropical infectious diseases, global public health, maternal and child health, epidemiology and research design, health care systems,  and ethics and human rights. There will be a special focus as well on local applications of global health study. The program will culminate with a capstone project that will be submitted for presentation or publication.

The Lectures in Global Health will give the student a solid foundation in the basics of global health. Spread over two years, the topics addressed will include: an overview of global health, health care delivery systems, epidemiology of preventable diseases, poverty, travel medicine and safety, women’s issues in global health, maternal child health, international adoption and orphan care, water and sanitation, global public health, human rights and ethics, mental health, malnutrition, socioeconomic and evironmental determinants of health, culturally appropriate health care, and global infectious disease.  There will be required pre-class reading as well as periodic evaluations through the use of case studies.

The Travel Medicine clinic will be designed to expose the student to the issues related travel medicine and vaccine preventable diseases, and malaria prophylaxis, as well as resources that are available.

The Global Health Mentored Project will be an individual scholarly project that highlights work performed internationally, regionally, or locally by the student with oversight by the student’s mentor.

Attendance at a scientific meeting, such as the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, will be required at least once during the student’s program in order to foster life-long learning, provide opportunities for contacts, and presentation of scholarly work.


Apply here for the scholarship program.


Year Available

Contact Hours



Lectures in Global Health

1 & 2

16 total

U of L

Held monthly. Over lunchtime.

Students are required to attend 80% of lectures.

(See listing)

Travel Clinic


(Time can be counted as clinical time and therefore should be done during clinical year)



U of L

Scheduled through Director of Practice and International Affairs

Global Health Mentored Project


(to include a minimum of a one-week immersion program)



International, Regional, Local

Options include

U of L ISLP Program, Project Medishare or other approved opportunity

Attend Scientific Meeting



GHANES, Unite for Site (Yale), American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene or other approved conference

Global Scholar funds can be used for this activity

Topics in Global Health (not established yet)




14 self-paced modules


Requirements for application:

  1. Accepted into MSN program, regardless of track.
  2. Full or part-time.
  3. Bursar account up to date.

Application process:

  1. Applications must be submitted prior to July 31st for acceptance into program in the Fall.
  2. Two letters of reference.  One must be an academic reference.

Selection process:

  1. Applications will be reviewed by Director of Practice and International Affairs (DPIA)
  2. Those applications that are complete and meet the minimum guidelines will be given to an ad hoc committee for review.
  3. Scholars will be notified of their award prior to the beginning of the fall semester.
  4. Amount of award may vary based on funds available, but currently will be $1,500 per student, with a maximum of three awards being given for Fall 2014.  These funds are to be used for the student’s immersion program.  This program can be local, regional or international, but must be approved by the DPIA.

Time line of program:

Summer after admission to MSN program:  Complete application with 2 letters of reference and forward to Dr. Whitney Nash at

Fall after acceptance: Meet with DPIA to begin to map out program plan i.e. conference ideas and interest, international program, project thoughts etc..  Begin lecture series.

Depending on status (full or part-time), requirements can be spread over a 2-3 time frame