BP check image

Being a nurse is very different from how it is portrayed in pop culture. Today’s nurses are working in an environment that is much tougher than most people think, and the route to get there is extremely challenging. Here are some of the main challenges faced by nursing students:

Costs of education

Before anything else, just getting into nursing school can pose many challenges. Paying for tuition fees, books, school supplies, and the overall cost of living can discourage anyone who wants to enter the field. Finding a suitable program and creating a list of realistic options is key.

Challenging education

Nothing can really prepare students for the exams and lectures at nursing school. Nursing schools include a lot of practical exams alongside the written tests. It’s not all about memorizing facts; students have to develop a knack for critical thinking.

Hectic schedules and long shifts

A large part of studying to be a nurse is carried out in clinical environments. Although extremely challenging and physically taxing, practical training provides nursing students the vital opportunity to use the theoretical knowledge they’ve learned in lectures. This includes the various mental, psychological, and psychomotor skills necessary for patient care.

A research article from The Scientific World Journal discusses several challenges that a nursing student may encounter in a clinical learning environment. Some of which include ineffective communication and inadequate preparation. The article also talks about how theoretical training and practical training go hand in hand—one will not be effective when the other has been executed poorly.

Social life and work-life balance can suffer

If you have been assigned shift work, your social life almost always disappears. Cosmopolitan details the most common nursing student problems, and highlights how going out with friends becomes almost impossible because of hectic schedules. Apart from trying to keep up with an ever-changing schedule, nursing students also need to complete necessary homework and worksheets before the next day’s shift.

Unreasonable expectations and unrealistic demands

An article on Nurseslabs on the most common challenges nursing school students face, talks about how many people have unreasonable expectations, and often make unrealistic demands on student nurses. People often expect student nurses to immediately know what to do during emergency situations, and sometimes even expect them to give medical advice or offer treatment. But in reality, it takes more than the basic medical training to resolve most medical situations.

This is one of the reasons why most people interested in pursuing a nursing degree think twice about entering the profession. On Maryville University’s nursing degree page, they looked at the current employment figures. The university reports that with demand high, “job openings for nurses are expected to increase by 15% from 2016 to 2026.” They’ve also found out that the need for family nurse practitioners is expected to increase steadily by the year 2025—with the nation facing a predicted shortage of at least 100,000 family doctors. Encouraging more students is a huge challenge facing the health industry.

The many challenges of nursing school shouldn’t discourage anyone interested in entering the field. Here at the Global Health and Education Projects, we emphasize the importance of passion, and how it can turn adversity into an opportunity for innovation. Our virtual global health internships offer opportunities for you to try out what it looks like to work in the field of health and social care services. By putting in a few hours of volunteer or internship with an organization with a global reach individuals interested in nursing careers can get a leg into the world of nursing and allied health care services.

In summary, passion can turn even the most challenging task into an incredibly rewarding job. After all, the greatest employees are those who have the greatest passion for what they do.

Written by Naomi Benson

***Naomi is a guest writer for the GHEP Blog.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my friends and compatriots in the USA a Happy Independence anniversary–July 4th. As a Nigerian-American, I do not take the celebration behind this day lightly. It means a lot for me. It is a clear reminder of the greatness of this country and its history and its future.

I know all of us Americans are good at critiquing the shortcomings of the system in US, things like socioeconomic inequalities, health inequities, educational disparities, and the ills of the social justice system. In spite of these ills, when you pause and examine the opportunities presented in this great country and juxtapose them against opportunities presented by other countries around the world, I argue that this country is still the best and the greatness. From Silicon valley, through Washington, DC, down to Vermont, the strength of this country is strewn all over its nooks and crannies.

America’s greatness lives in its whites, its Blacks, its Indians, its brown and different shades of the citizens of this country. It is a great country; we can make it even greater by extending our arms of welcome for future generations and continue the greatness of this country which is etched in its diversity. What a great country we live in? Happy independence friends and compatriots. We have greater days ahead of us. Enjoy with family and friends.

After working in science and research for more than a decade, I have come to realize that one of the greatest mistakes that distinguished members of our research / scientific community make is to assume that the impact of their work stems from the number of scholarly publications that they produce. I argue otherwise. In our new and evolving technological age, one Facebook post, one Twitter tweet, one LinkedIn article, one Youtube video, may have more societal and life-changing impact than a handful of peer-reviewed papers. I further argue that scientists and researchers who are able to make this reality transition are those that I call the “scientists of the future.” I bet you, there aren’t many of them, but there should be.

The reality is that the world is changing. Those, including researchers and scientists who wish to get to the next of engagement with their populace must do so where those people are. The truth is that very few people read scholarly journals, but more and increasingly more people are reading social media. If you want to engage them, then go to them where they are and engage them there.

It would be fortuitous to expect scientists or researchers to be social media experts. Thus it is important to identify and hire experts in social media who can leverage their skills and reach to assist you to reach and sustain followers in the community via new and non-traditional media.

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. These permanent dates enhance planning and position National Nurses Week as an established recognition event. As of 1998, May 8 was designated National Student Nurses Day, to be celebrated annually. And as of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week each year.

The nursing profession has been supported and promoted by the American Nurses Association (ANA) since 1896. Each of ANA’s state and territorial nurses associations promotes the nursing profession at the state and regional levels. Each conducts celebrations on these dates to recognize the contributions that nurses and nursing make to the community.

The ANA supports and encourages National Nurses Week recognition programs through the state and district nurses associations, other speciality nursing organizations, educational facilities, and independent health care companies and institutions.


This modified “Hippocratic Oath” was composed in 1893 by Mrs. Lystra E. Gretter and a Committee for the Farrand Training School for Nurses in Detroit, MI. It was called the Florence Nightingale Pledge as a token of esteem for the founder of modern nursing.

Follow this link to celebrate with the Nurses at this National Nurses Week

American Nurses Association Inc.

Over two decades ago, I spent a substantial part of my early life in my little village in southeast Nigeria greening my father’s compound. Fueled with passion for plants and the environment and no formal training in horticulture, agriculture, or botany, I turned our compound into a miniature botanical garden that was the talk of the town at that time. I had over 100 species of plants. Tropical, temperate, annuals, perennials, you name it, I had it. It was a blast and the most fascinating period of my life.

Fast forward two decades later I am pleasantly surprised to see how my passion for plants and the environment has come full circle several miles away from my village. In the global capital of Washington, DC, I am a leading a community-based revolution for the environment. The Family Tree Adoption Program (FTAP) that I conceptualized a few years ago has become the foundation for a County-wide program in my Prince George’s County, Maryland.

FTAP is a grassroots program that provides free native trees and shrubs to private homeowners in Prince George’s (PG) County, Maryland. FTAP is greening communities by increasing tree canopy, which, in turn, improves air and water quality, community aesthetics, and provides benefits for years to come.

I believe that the best employees are those who exhibit the greatest passion for what they do. In the absence of passion, knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) pale. It is easy to grow the KSA but it is difficult to sow or even grow passion, because you come to the table with passion. The absence of this burning fire of passion is what you see in doctors, lawyers, or other top professionals who make so much money but you can tell when you see them that they are not happy. Sounds familiar?

So, when next you see me, ask me about free trees! FTAP is truly the fruit of passion that led to innovation. Rather than pursuing your KSA, I recommend that you pursue your passion. So, what is your passion? Do you know?

Social Inequalities in health are marked and, in fact, have widened over time for a number of health indicators in the United States, most notably in life expectancy, infant mortality, cancer and cardiovascular mortality, and HIV/AIDS, according a new study published in the International Journal of MCH and AIDS (IJMA).

The study entitled “Social Determinants of Health in the United States: Addressing Major Health Inequality Trends for the Nation, 1935-2016” which was published in the latest issue of the journal examines many important health inequality trends by social determinants such as race/ethnicity, education, income, poverty, area deprivation, unemployment, housing, rural-urban residence, and geographic location.

The following are some of the key findings of the study:

  • Life expectancy of Americans increased from 69.7 years in 1950 to 78.8 years in 2015. However, disparities have persisted. In 2015, life expectancy was highest for Asian/Pacific Islanders (87.7 years) and lowest for African Americans (75.7 years).
  • There are wide disparities in US life expectancy – a gap of more than 17 years in life expectancy between African American men (72.3 years) and Asian/Pacific Islander women (89.7 years).
  • Life expectancy is lower in rural areas of the United States. Rural-urban disparities in life expectancy have widened over the past 25 years. Life expectancy ranges from 74.5 years for men in rural areas to 82.4 years for women in large metropolitan areas.
  • During the past eight decades, infant mortality rates have decreased greatly for all groups. However, racial disparities have widened over time. In 2015, the mortality rate for African American infants was 11.4 per 1,000 live births, 2.3 times higher than the rate of 4.9 for white infants.
  • Infant mortality is two times greater in the poorest communities of the US compared to the most-affluent communities.
  • Men with less than a high school education and those below the poverty level have 2.6 times higher lung cancer mortality than their more educated and affluent counterparts.
  • Men and women with less than a high school education have, respectively, 42% and 120% higher colorectal cancer mortality risks than those with a college degree.
  • Women with less than a high school education and below the poverty level have 6.3 and 4.0 times higher cervical cancer mortality than women with the highest education and income levels, respectively.
  • Men and women with low education and incomes have 46-76% higher CVD mortality than their counterparts with high education and income levels. Women in transport occupations have 2.6 times higher mortality risks than those in executive and managerial occupations.

For further information, please contact IJMA at: info@mchandaids.org

The influenza (popularly known as Flu) season is around the corner. The flu vaccine is your best shot at preventing influenza. Trust me, there are many important reasons to get vaccinated. We recommend that you talk to your doctor to make sure you are up to date on the vaccines that are right for you.

Did you know that adults need vaccines too? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. Many adults in the U.S. are not aware of the vaccines recommended for them – and that means they are not taking advantage of the best protection available against a number of serious diseases.

There are many reasons to get vaccinated; here are just 10 of those reasons.

1) You may be at risk for serious diseases that could be prevented by vaccines. Many of these diseases (like influenza, pertussis, and shingles) are common in the U.S., and many can be spread easily.

2) You may be at increased risk for complications from certain diseases if you have a chronic health condition or weakened immune system. Adults with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases. These complications can include long-term illness, hospitalization, and even death.

3) You can reduce the chance that you’ll pass on a serious disease to your loved ones. Most vaccine-preventable disease can be contagious, like influenza, meningitis, and whooping cough. Receiving your recommended vaccines can reduce the risk that you get sick and spread disease on to others.

4) You can help protect those who can’t get vaccinated. Some people may not be able to get certain vaccines based on age, health conditions, or other factors even though they are vulnerable to illness. Vaccines can help prevent the spread of contagious diseases to them. For example, newborns who are too young to get vaccinated for whooping cough are also most at risk of severe illness from the disease. By getting vaccinated when you’re pregnant, you can pass on protection to your baby.

5) You don’t have time to get sick. You have too much responsibility to risk getting sick, including people counting on you at work and at home. Vaccines can help you stay healthy so you don’t waste time being sick.

6) You don’t want to miss what’s important to you. Spending time with family and friends or taking time out for your hobbies may not be possible if you get sick. Vaccines can help you stay healthy and enjoy the things you like to do.

7) You don’t want to pay the price of getting sick. Adults who get a vaccine-preventable disease face the financial costs of medical visits and treatment, in addition to other costs like taking time off work, hiring babysitters, and traveling to and from doctors’ offices.

8) You like to travel – or have to travel for work. Travel can present exciting opportunities, but it can also put you at risk for certain diseases. Make sure you only bring back great memories, not illness! If you are going to travel internationally, you might need additional vaccines. See the vaccinations and travel checklist.

9) You want the peace of mind that comes with protecting your health. People sometimes wait to get vaccines until they hear of outbreaks of disease like pertussis or influenza in their community. The time to be vaccinated is before disease arrives. It’s important to stay up to date on your immunizations because no one can predict when disease will appear.

10) You don’t want to feel crummy if you can prevent it! No one wants to feel sick. There are more than a dozen diseases that you can protect against simply by getting vaccinated! Adult vaccines are available at doctor’s offices, health departments, pharmacies, and even workplaces.

Courtesy: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Choosing the right school and teaching program that meets one’s needs for education and preparation for career can both be equally onerous. But not any more. Three free guides from our publishing partners can assist you in making the right choices. Check them out.

The guides inform prospective students on what to expect from a teaching program and what to consider when choosing the right school. The guides also explore financing options and review job outlook & career opportunities that come with a degree in education.

These guides are great for current professionals who want to advance professionally as well as for aspiring teachers and education professionals. With one out of the 81% of online students working while pursuing their collegiate goals, these guides can be helpful in crunch times when the cost of making decisions are truly high.

Guide to  Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate Programs in Education

Courtesy: BestColleges.com

Washington, DC — About 61 percent of people with Nigerian ancestry age 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or higher — more than twice the U.S. rate of 28.5 percent, according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report on Characteristics of Selected Sub-Saharan African and Caribbean Ancestry Groups in the United States: 2008-2012.

This new report from the 2008-2012 American Community Survey covers the population who reported Sub-Saharan African ancestry — Ethiopian and Nigerian — and Caribbean (West Indian) ancestry — Haitian, Jamaican, and Trinidadian and Tobagonian. These ancestry groups were selected due to their relatively small populations and being under researched compared to their counterparts. About 2.5 million people in the United States identified as one of these ancestry groups, or around 0.8 percent of the total U.S. population. This represents an increase of about 2.1 million, or around 469 percent, since the 1980 Census.

“Acquiring a college or other advanced degree was a major factor for many people of Nigerian ancestry coming to the United States, so it is not surprising that twice as many had a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to all people and the other selected ancestry groups,” said Dr. Stella Ogunwole, a demographer in the Population Division.

The report also found the rate of labor force participation was 71 percent or higher for all of the selected groups compared to the U.S. rate of 64.7 percent. Thirty-six percent of the civilian employed population age 16 and older in the United States worked in management, business, science and arts occupations, but the Nigerians — the most educated group — had the largest share in this type of occupation at 52 percent.

“Each of these ancestries carved a different immigration path to the United States: many sought technical training, advanced education, political asylum and better opportunities with the thriving labor market,” added Ogunwole.

Ethiopians were the fastest growing among these ancestry groups — growing from 1980 to 2008-2012 by around 2,400 percent, and Haitians had the largest numeric change over the same period, with an increase of about 777,000 (862 percent).

“The New York and Miami metro areas in particular had large concentrations of people of Jamaican or Haitian ancestry,” said Darryl Cohen, a geographer in the Population Division.

These findings came from the 2008-2012 American Community Survey. The report also used decennial censuses back to 1980 to compare changes in population for given ancestry groups, since ancestry was first measured in the 1980 Census. The findings from the report include the geographic distribution of the population in these ancestry groups, as well as various demographic and socio-economic characteristics, such as age and sex, household type, nativity, educational attainment, labor force participation, occupation, earnings, poverty and homeownership.

Other highlights from the report:


The two Sub-Saharan African ancestry groups (Nigerian and Ethiopian) and those of Haitian ancestry each had a median age of about 30 years, younger than the other two Caribbean groups (Jamaican at 34.5 years, and Trinidadian and Tobagonian at 35.8 years).

Labor Force
Nationally about two-thirds (65 percent) of the population age 16 and older was in the labor force. People who reported Nigerian or Ethiopian ancestries had the highest participation rates (76 percent each) among all the selected ancestry groups.

At least 71 percent of people age 16 and older with Haitian, Jamaican, and Trinidadian and Tobagonian ancestries participated in the labor force.

The geographic distributions of these ancestry groups vary considerably, with those of Haitian, Jamaican, and Trinidadian and Tobagonian ancestries most concentrated in Florida and New York. The Ethiopian and Nigerian ancestry groups are more widely dispersed across the United States.

Language diversity
Even though English is the official language of Nigeria, less than half of the population reporting Nigerian ancestry spoke only English at home (43 percent).

Eighty percent of the U.S. population age 5 and older spoke only English at home. Among the selected ancestry groups, those with Trinidadian and Tobagonian (95.5 percent) and Jamaican (92.7 percent) ancestries were most likely to speak only English at home.

Foreign-Born Status
In 2012, 13 percent of people residing in the United States were foreign-born. By comparison, almost three-quarters of the population reporting Ethiopian ancestry (72 percent) were foreign-born, the highest among the selected ancestry groups.

Approximately six out of every 10 people among the other ancestry groups (Trinidadian and Tobagonian, Nigerian, Jamaican and Haitian ancestries) were foreign-born.

Those with Jamaican ancestry had the highest rate of homeownership among the five groups, at 53.7 percent; the national rate was 65.5 percent.

The American Community Survey is a nationwide survey designed to provide communities with reliable and timely demographic, social, economic and housing data for congressional districts, counties, places and other localities every year.

The world has become increasingly interconnected, demonstrating a nation’s dependency on the global economic, security, and health status. Diseases, especially infectious and contagious diseases, do not recognize borders. Thus, a disease for example, can easily migrate to bordering countries if not contained. Nations must find educated and collaborative measures to resolve local and regional disease outbreaks before they have a major impact on resources and before they become pandemic. When health challenges do present an impact on resources, nations rely on others for support, further exemplifying the importance of education and collaboration.

The International Journal of MCH and AIDS, one of the Global Health and Education Projects’ (GHEP) peer-reviewed journals, published a study by Mondal et al. that attempted to examine life expectancy (LE) in the least developed countries and the health factors associated with LE. From the identified factors, Mondal and colleagues (2015) found that education was an important predictor of LE and that higher education levels among a population had a positive impact on LE. Educated people tend to better understand information on proper nutrition, hygiene, healthcare services, and common illness prevention measures (Mondal, 2015). Take the health outcome of mental disorders for example. Research conducted in epidemiology, clinical presentation, and interventions early in life is indispensable to strengthen the scientific bases of child and adolescent mental health clinical practice. In this sense, knowledge disseminated by scientific journals such as GHEP’s International Journal of MCH and AIDS (IJMA) and the International Journal of Translational Medical Research and Public Health (IJTMRPH) lay the foundations for evidence based measures (Kieling & Martin, 2013).

Unfortunately, developing countries lack the scientific resources to produce and create evidence based strategies to combat health issues. At the same time, developed countries sometimes lack focus or are hindered by challenges when dealing with specific health issues. These challenges and examples highlight the need that must be filled. It is from this urgency that we have global organizations such as GHEP that function to advance global health and education through journal publication.

How can journal publication advance global health and education? Let’s review some of the journal articles in GHEP’s journal database to see how they contribute to global health and education advancement. It was noted earlier that Mondal et al. attempted to identify health factors contributing to LE in developing countries. International efforts can now focus on LE in developing countries by increasing income and health facilities, improving the overall situation, and by decreasing deaths, fertility, and HIV prevalence rate.  In an article in IJTMRPH, Islam et al. (2016) identified the need for the Bangladeshi government to create economic opportunities for women to enhance contraceptive use, since there was a gap among employed and unemployed women regarding using contraceptives. Ayaaba et al. (2017) in IJTMRPH concluded that mining regulations and health and environmental surveillance systems needed to be updated and implemented to protect the safety of minors from Coal Worker’s Pneumoconiosis, a rising global concern.

GHEP’s published journal articles reflect some of the various approaches in how journal publication advances global health and education by:

  1. publicizing a health outcome and its factors to make them publicly known,
  2.  advocating international and collaborative measures to address health outcomes and their factors,
  3. pinpointing governmental flaws in health strategies (or lack thereof) to better support current or new health objectives,
  4. advertising a health outcome to create a sense of urgency and national/international support,
  5. identifying failing health systems and policies to create pressure for change, and
  6. identifying gaps in safety regulations and practices for workers and communities.

These approaches represent the importance of global health publications such as GHEP in their journal publication endeavors. With the current state of global health affairs, hopefully we see the benefit of these organizations’ mission efforts. I welcome your comments.

Contributor Mr. Hilliard, a PhD student in global health at Nova Southeastern University, is an intern with the Center for Global Health and Health Policy, Global Health and Education Projects, Inc.  He can be reached at dh1463@mynsu.nova.edu.