A new curriculum for public health nurses in India focusing on the prevention of HIV/AIDS is being developed through a collaboration of the Yale University School of Nursing (YSN), the William J. Clinton Foundation, India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Indian Nursing Council.
The curriculum will be the centerpiece of the new Indian Institute for Advanced Nursing (IIAN) that has been established in Chennai, India. IIAN will serve as the national hub for nursing training, research and education on HIV/AIDS in India.
Nancy R. Reynolds, professor of nursing, and Angelo A. Alonzo, research scientist in nursing—both from Yale—will serve as co-directors of the multi-year project.
The partnership addresses two of the most critical issues facing the healthcare system in India: the shortage of nurses with advanced training in public health settings and the increasing need for nurses to provide preventative and clinical care for patients with HIV/AIDS.
“Yale University is particularly well-suited to be the academic arm of this partnership, given our expertise, resources and international priorities,” said Margaret Grey, dean and the Annie Goodrich Professor at Yale University School of Nursing. “Educating nurses to provide expert HIV/AIDS care in India fits well with our mission—better health care for all.”
An estimated 2.4 million people in India, from all sectors of society, are currently infected with HIV. It is a complex illness with far-reaching economic and social consequences that have overwhelmed the capacity of the Indian healthcare system. Although substantial improvements have been made in India over the past several years to improve HIV care and support, there is still a marked shortage of accessible care that meets accepted standards. Nurses play an important role in HIV prevention, care and education, yet there is broad consensus that Indian nurses are being underutilized.
Advancing the contributions of nurses has tremendous potential to significantly improve the capacity of Indian health care system to prevent the spread of HIV and improve the scope and quality of care provided to individuals and families affected by HIV, note the IIAN leaders. While nurses are highly capable of assuming more advanced responsibilities in HIV care settings, additional specialized nursing education available through a center for nursing excellence in HIV/AIDS will help to extend, support and sustain nurse and nurse educators’ knowledge and integration of the most recent advances in HIV practice.
“HIV/AIDS is one of India’s most pressing public health priorities,” Reynolds said. “As an advanced-practice nurse and professor of nursing, I have worked over much of my career to address the health care needs of vulnerable persons living HIV/AIDS. It is a great honor to engage in a long-term partnership with the Clinton Foundation to advance the role of nurses and ultimately the quality of care of persons living with HIV/AIDS in India.”
The Indian Institute of Advanced Nursing in HIV/AIDS will provide three levels of nursing graduate education with specialties in HIV/AIDS: short (one- to three- month) continuing nursing education programs; one-year post-graduate diploma programs; and a two-year master of science in nursing (MSc). Eventually, a doctoral program in nursing may also be developed.
The Yale University School of Nursing enjoys an international reputation for excellence in teaching, research and clinical practice. One of Yale University’s 10 professional schools, YSN is a leading school of nursing in the United States, with a diverse community of scholars and clinicians. More information on YSN may be found at www.nursing.yale.edu.
The Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) assists countries in developing and implementing large-scale integrated care, treatment and prevention programs that will turn the tide on the AIDS epidemic. Currently CHAI is active in countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe. Host governments assume overall responsibility for programs and CHAI helps implement these programs by providing technical assistance, mobilizing human and financial resources, and facilitating the sharing of best practices across projects. The ultimate objective in each country is to make high-quality HIV/AIDS care and treatment a reality, and to develop replicable models for large-scale programs in other resource-poor settings.