University of Maribor Faculty of Health Sciences (UM FHS) and The George Washington University School of Nursing (GWUSON) have established very productive collaboration in the educational field within a very short time.
Close cooperation was established thanks to UM FHS Dean, Prof Majda Pajnkihar, PhD, RN, FAAN, who, as part of her visit to the States in November 2018, while attending the American Academy of Nursing, presented the idea of collaboration with GWUSON to Dean Pamela D. Jeffries, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, FSSH, who is a highly internationally recognized and respected, nursing theorist and researcher.
The GWUSON Dean also briefly visited the UM FHS and delivered a lecture for higher education teachers, teaching assistants and students, and furthermore accepted an invitation to become a visiting professor at UM FHS. In little over a year of cooperation, UM FHS employees visited GWUSON and attended a training course in a simulated environment. UM FHS was also visited by Prof Carol S. Lang, DScN, MSc, RN, as one of the goals of both faculties is also the mobility of both faculties’ students and staff and the transfer of good practices.
In the first week of November, UM FHS was hosting the first students from GWUSON and Assist Prof Carol S. Lang, DScN, MSc, RN. As part of their visit, five GWUSON students undertook commitments as part of their nursing education at the family medicine practice and the local community. During the visit, Mr. Aleksander Jus, from Health center dr. Adolf Drolc Maribor presented health care system in Slovenia. Mr. Mladen Kraljić from the UM’s International Office presented the excellent international activity of our university. Presentation of health system in United States and interviews of students from our faculty also took place. Foreign students visited the Maribor High School of Health and Cosmetics, where they presented the health-related issues that adolescents face in their everyday life. They visited the National Institute of Public Health, where they had the privilege to listen to the presentations of their excellent experts about the public health system in Slovenia and furthermore explained to our guests the differences between the American and our public health systems. A meeting was also organized with a representative of the US Embassy, Mr. Brian J. Street. The students were in clinical training in the faculty's teaching base - community nursing and family medicine practice of the Health center dr. Adolf Drolc Maribor. The students were also acquainted with Slovenian culture by visiting Ljubljana, Maribor and Ptuj and socializing with students and faculties’ employees outside their study obligations.
UM FHS and GWUSON wish to further deepen their cooperation in the field of education by designing a study program for nurses with advanced knowledge in the field of gerontological nursing. It is planned to educate UM FHS higher education teachers at GWUSON to gain knowledge and experience through advanced nursing practice. We are actively developing a project to acquire a Fulbright Fellowship from GWUSON.
There are opportunities opening up for collaboration in the field of clinical education and innovative educational strategies for the simulated clinical environment.