Nurse Educator returns to Uganda to expand her impact

CommunicationsBlog, Nursing, Uganda

Just twenty miles from the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Arua, Uganda, is Muni University – the only university in Uganda’s West Nile Region. Muni opened just last year, with the help of Global Health Service Partnership Nurse Educators, including Genevieve Evenhouse. Working with the nursing faculty, Genevieve and her fellow volunteers helped secure accreditation for the institution and develop the curriculum for the nursing program.

Because of its remote location, attracting faculty to the new school has been difficult. Genevieve ended her year of service in July of 2016 and returned to her work as a school district nurse with the San Francisco Unified School District, yet knowing the difficulties with finding enough teachers, felt an urge to return to Muni.

“I knew that Muni was going to have little teaching support and they were having a hard time recruiting faculty to teach students, especially during the recess session,” noted Genevieve, “and it was approaching summer break in California, so I thought it would be good opportunity to continue to support Muni.”

Genevieve returned to Muni this June to teach courses and support other faculty during their recess term. This summer, she is teaching a course in nursing ethics and integrity to 26 students enrolled in Muni’s Bachelors of Nursing Science program. In addition to working with students, she is collaborating directly with a local counterpart to help introduce new teaching methods and course content to the program.

Genevieve explained that she also had more personal motivations for her return: “I wanted to meet the students that had enrolled in the program that I helped to develop [in 2016]. We had all worked so hard to get the program started, and it’s been so rewarding to see all that work in action.”

Genevieve hopes that her return can support Muni as they aim to hire more faculty in the coming weeks. “I am dedicated to bringing more nurses to Arua and northern Uganda,” said Genevieve, “I truly believe in the power of education.”