WHO Collaborating Centre for International Nursing


Doreen C. Harper


Adelais Markaki


Lisa Theus


Allison Shorten


Support PAHO/WHO’s efforts to strengthen the quality of nursing education and practice based on Universal Access to Health, Universal Health Coverage, and Primary Health Care.

Collaborate Support PAHO/WHO’s efforts to nhance the use and dissemination of knowledge resources that build capacity and leadership for nurse and midwife educators.


Nurse educators at UWI-Mona in Jamaica work practice during a UAB faculty-led “Train-the-Trainer in Simulation” course.

1) Development of the Educational Quality Improvement (EQI) Toolkit for nursing and midwifery schools in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. The toolkit supports undergraduate nursing and midwifery educators in implementing a QI plan that can be tailored to specific needs. It addresses Universal Health and Primary Health Care educational outcomes within the framework of transformative education and competency-based interprofessional collaborative practice. The toolkit is freely available through the school’s website at:

2) New online course, “Quality Improvement in Nursing and Midwifery Educational Programs – a three-module online course for lifelong learning” for educators in LAC countries. This course, available in English and Spanish, consists of three open-access online modules designed to build workforce capacity. Participants learn key principles of teaching and learning, as well as instructional and evaluation strategies for students and courses. Once pilot testing and evaluation are completed, web link for free access will be widely disseminated.

3) Integrating clinical simulation into nursing and midwifery programs in Jamaica

As part of an on-going partnership with the University of the West Indies-Mona WHOCC, mutual faculty exchanges took place. In Summer 2019, two UABSON faculty, Drs. Penny Watts and Tracie White, visited UWI-Mona campus for a train-the-trainer 4-day clinical simulation and on-site consultation. On-going support has been provided through virtual follow-up meetings. In January 2019, UABSON hosted an International Visiting Scholar from the UWI School of Health Professions and Nursing. Ms. Chinwendu Agu, a midwife lecturer and PhD student, was trained in High Fidelity Simulation midwifery scenarios and explored potential research collaboration on the topic of substance use among pregnant women.  

4) The following peer-reviewed presentations and posters related to WHOCC work were given:

    • Markaki, A., Shorten, A., Moss, J., Selleck, C., & Harper, D. (2018, July). A framework for global health action: making SDGs our school of nursing’s business. Paper presented at the 12th Biennial Conference of the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centers for Nursing and Midwifery, Cairns, Australia.
    • Markaki A, Shorten A, Dawson M, Enah C, Gakumo A, Johnson K, Ladores S, McLain R, Sample N, Speck P, Theus L, Turkman Y, Moss J, Selleck C. (2018, November). Global health in action: raising faculty awareness and engagement. Poster presented at the Sigma Nu Chapter 60th Celebration, Birmingham, AL.
    • Markaki, A., Harper, D. (2018, November). Embracing universal health and primary health care: a paradigm shift for nursing and midwifery education? Paper presented at the XVI Pan American Colloquium of Nursing Research, Havana, Cuba.
    • Markaki, A., Moss, J., Shorten, A., Selleck, C., Loan, L., McLain, R., Miltner R, Patrician P, Theus L, Ferrer L, dos Santos Nogueira de Goes F, Valenzuela Mujica MT, Zarate Grajales R, de Bortoli Cassiani SH, and Harper, D. (2019). Strengthening universal health and primary health care: development of a nursing and midwifery education quality improvement toolkit. Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem, 27:e3188.  DOI: 10.1590/1518-8345.3229.318

    • Markaki, A., Wingo, N., Watts, P., Steadman, L., Coles, K., Rae, T., Theus, L. & Ortega, J. (2019). Building capacity for nursing and midwifery education through an asynchronous online course. Journal of Nursing Education [in press].

    • Site visit by PAHO/WHO Regional Officer, Dr. Silvia Cassiani, who met with UABSON administration, faculty, and the Global Partnerships Advisory Board. The visit included presentation of WHOCC deliverables completed as part of the 2015-2019 Terms of Reference, and a tour of the new SON facilities.
    • Sigma Nu Chapter 60th Anniversary Celebration and 17th Annual Alumni Event.  A Global Leadership in Nursing panel, moderated by WHOCC Deputy Director, Dr. Ada Markaki included presentations by: Wipada Kunaviktikul, Professor and Dean, Faculty of Nursing of Chiang Mai University in Thailand; Larry Slater, Clinical Associate Professor at the Rory Meyers College of Nursing at New York University; Patrician Thompson, CEO and past president of Sigma; and Constance Smith Hendricks, Dean, Tuskegee University.
    • Global Partnerships Advisory Board meeting – The annual meeting took place in November, 2018 concurrent with the PAHO RO’s visit. The Advisory Board is comprised of UAB and external stakeholders with expertise or special interest in global work and outreach.
    • Primary Care Scholars Program (GNEPCS): A UABSON initiative to improve the quality of life for 1.6 million Alabamians living in rural areas affected by health professional shortage. With support from the Daniel Foundation of Alabama, the school aims to increase the number of primary care nurse practitioners, building partnerships and increasing access to health care in rural and underserved areas. GNEPCS focuses on educating more advanced practice nurses to work in underserved areas. It creates a pipeline of nurses from rural Alabama counties for recruitment into primary care nurse practitioner programs as Primary Care Scholars. GNEPCS is structured to produce new curricula for teaching students, develop best practice models, and establish an annual summit for health care providers across the state to learn and share approaches for helping the medically underserved. 

    • Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) program: ln 2018, UABSON launched the NFP program to serve low income, high risk, first-time mothers in Jefferson county, Alabama. Nurses visit families in their homes from pregnancy through the baby’s second birthday, and provide timely physical and psychosocial assessments, education, health coaching, advocacy, and support. During the program’s first year, birth outcomes for mothers and babies were remarkably improved, while impacting select social determinants of health for families participating in the program.

    • Building a Resilient Primary Care Registered Nurse Workforce for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control in Alabama: This 4-year, grant-funded project focuses on training and sustaining baccalaureate-prepared RNs in medically underserved areas of the state. This project aims to improve health outcomes in rural areas and educate undergraduate nursing students and practicing RNs in team-focused primary care. Over the grant period, it will create a nurse-led primary care hub with six community partners, expanding existing and creating new academic-practice partnerships in various counties across the state. The sites will serve as clinical training locations for BSN students focusing on primary care nursing with an emphasis on chronic disease prevention and control in diabetes, high blood pressure, mental health and substance abuse. Part of the project will also focus on building a resilient workforce by providing the primary care RN workforce with skills to cope with the challenges of caregiving and the unique needs of vulnerable populations.

UAB School of Nursing Global Partnerships Advisory Board (November 13, 2018)

Front row: Janet Turan, Doreen Harper, Dr. Silvia Cassiani, PAHO Regional Officer, and Lisa Theus. 

Second row: Jacqueline Moss, Maria Shirey, Lynda Wilson.

Third row: Allison Shorten, Comfort Enah, Juanzetta Flowers.

Fourth row: Rubin Pillay, Ada Markaki, Jeannie Horton Michael Saag.

Top row: Cindy Selleck, Dr. Wipada Kunaviktikul, Dean of the Chiang Mai University Faculty of Nursing, Majd Zayzafoon.