Global Engagement

A World Connected through Care

The Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing & Health Professions responds to the need for culturally aware professionals by presenting opportunities for students to practice in multi-lingual and multi-cultural settings, lead and advance the profession by embracing change, collaborate with other healthcare professionals, and promote lifelong learning.

Healthcare Trips

Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing & Health Professions offers students inter-professional study abroad and service opportunities. Students participate in an annual health mission trip organized by the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership & Sustainability (ECCLS) and a study abroad elective with the Feik School of Pharmacy. Past trips include explorations of healthcare in India, China, Ecuador and South America. The 2019 inter-professional study abroad electives included trips to Vietnam and Paraguay.

Oaxaca, Mexico

At the invitation of Sr. Maria Luisa Velez CCVI, the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership & Sustainability, UIW health students and Los Quijotes of San Antonio-Ambassadors of Health have traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico yearly since 2015. During this UIW Health Mission Trip, DNP nursing students examine patients and UIW optometry students conduct eye examination screenings using an autorefractor machine — an examination used to create prescriptions for glasses. Students look forward to participating in this trip each year.

South Africa

As a joint project between the Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing & Health Professions and the Feik School of Pharmacy, faculty introduced students to the history of apartheid and healthcare in South Africa prior to the trip in Summer 2018. During the nine-day trip, the group visited the cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Franschhoek as well as the Langa and Soweto townships. The group toured a hospital, a public health clinic, a pharmacy, the University of the Western Cape and visited with traditional healers.

The annual Sister Charles Marie Frank Lecture showcases global healthcare leaders making outstanding contributions to nursing in research, education and practice. The series honors Sister Charles Marie Frank, CCVI (1908-1998), a pioneer in bringing nursing in Texas from apprenticeship training to professional education at Incarnate Word College.

Global Insights:

  • There are an estimated 50 million people worldwide living with dementia — many helped by community health educators, occupational therapists, physical therapists and other types of rehabilitative care.
  • The number of people suffering with dementia will almost double every 20 years, reaching 75 million in 2030 and 131.5 million in 2050.
  • The fastest growth in the elderly population is taking place in China, India, south Asia and the western Pacific.
  • The total estimated worldwide cost of dementia is U.S. $818 billion in 2015, which represents 1.09% of global GDP. 
  • Nursing was the first profession in the health industry to form an international organization – the International Council of Nurses, which formed in 1899.
  • More than 1.3 billion people worldwide are without access to basic healthcare, whether due to the lack of available professionals, education or affordability.
  • The World Health Organization estimates a global healthcare workforce shortage of 7.2 million professionals, which is predicted to grow to 12.9 million by 2035.
  • Women increasingly enter the nursing profession in greater numbers than men globally — in the U.S., men currently make up only 9% of nurses, while in Saudi Arabia male representation increases to 32%.
  • Thai police double as nurses. In the capital Bangkok, police have a few days of medical training each month and learn how to deliver babies — one officer has delivered 81 babies in 10 years.
  • Volunteer nurses treat and educate local populations based on need in specialty healthcare fields across the globe:
  • Psychiatry — according to a 2001 World Health Organization report, the number of psychiatric nurses in poor countries is about 0.1 per 100,000 persons.
  • Dermatology — skin problems affect up to 87% of the population, while many developing countries have no skincare specialists.
  • Safe Anesthesia — African and Asian nations have a shortage of anesthesia specialists.
  • Surgical Care — developing nations show large disparity between those who can and cannot access life-saving surgical and post-operative care and issues of overcrowded hospitals.
  • Trauma — more than 1.5 billion people live in countries where violent conflict affects their daily lives and health.
  • Rehabilitation — 80% of people living with disabilities reside in low-income countries that lack access to suitable rehabilitation services.