By Janice Putnam Ph.D., RN, June 3, 2019
Janice Putnam Ph.D., RN is a professor of nursing and health studies at the University of Central Missouri, as well as an Honors College Faculty Fellow . She has taught at UCM since 1998 and has also served as the Associate Dean of the Graduate School, Interim Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs, and Senior Academic Policy and Compliance Specialist/Special Projects for the Provost. She currently teaches courses including Drugs: Addiction to Recovery and Future Global Healthcare Professional.
In the ever-changing world of health care, UCM is rising to meet industry needs by producing workforce-ready graduates who are prepared to lead and shape the future of care. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, jobs for health educators are growing 16% faster than the average career from 2016-2026, and UCM’s health studies program is meeting this demand by encouraging students to tailor their degree to their interests and integrate health courses with programs such as psychology, nursing, business or criminal justice.
As both the education and health care industries become increasingly global enterprises, global collaboration is needed now more than ever to foster innovation and evolve processes through the exchange of ideas in order to develop the necessary skills and talent needed within the workforce. To meet this need, UCM has pioneered a future-focused approach to education that promotes collaboration for global health initiatives by providing health courses that include students from different countries.
Starting in 2018, UCM and the Hanze University, Netherlands, began offering a course titled The Global Healthcare Professional. Students from both universities participate in this course and gain firsthand experience listening to international lectures, engaging in discussions about international issues and collaborating on projects with peers from a different culture and health care system.
An example of this is an assignment in this course for which students are asked to draw a picture of the future health care professional. In their vision, they incorporate their own predictions and dreams as well as those of the health care professionals and patients they interview. From their insights, students derive actions that they can take in the present.
This unique experience and opportunity to engage actively with classmates from different countries prepares these students to become better, more skilled employees upon graduation.