1. McCartney, Patricia R. PhD, RN, FAAN

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Telecommunications connect the world in unprecedented ways!! Today, the Internet is the tool for truly global collaboration to promote human development. Maternal-child health nurses who were formerly isolated in their own practices can now meet, share, and strategize in online virtual communities. I want to tell readers about a list that empowers nurses to contribute to global health issues: the Global Alliance for Nursing and Midwifery (GANM) list.



The GANM list is supported by the Implementing Best Practices (IBP) Initiative (2006), a collaborative forum created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Partner Agencies (such as International Planned Parenthood Federation, United Nations Population Fund, Engender Health, Johns Hopkins University). The IBP goal is to identify and apply evidence-based practices to improve reproductive health outcomes in low-resource settings. The IBP vehicle for sharing effective practices is the Knowledge Gateway, a Web portal of electronic communication tools to support multiple virtual Communities of Practice ( The IBP provides Web tools for networking-without cost or advertisement-to any group that shares their mission.


The GANM is one of the Knowledge Gateway Communities of Practice. Nurses can join and participate in the network at the GANM home page (2006). Members receive posts directly in their daily e-mail, and a designated community leader reviews the individual posts and periodically writes a summary for the members. A personalized GANM Web portal also is created for each member to view the current discussion threads and access additional resources. The "library" contains an archive of past discussion thread digests, the moderator's summaries, and the full text of all the original member posts. The "announcements" include information on conferences, online education, funding opportunities, and forum directions posted by a community leader. On the GANM Web site, members can join "other communities" that focus on specific nursing roles (e.g., chief nursing officers, community leaders, and educators), specific locations (e.g., India, Ethiopia, Africa, Tanzania, Southeast Asia), or specific health conditions (e.g., STI/HIV, HPV vaccine, family planning, IUD, postabortion care, WHO Making Pregnancy Safer initiative). Although navigating the Web portal does necessitate some orientation time, there are many resources and options to personalize your page with folders and contact lists or even organize a new community.


GANM Members and Topics

GANM members include more than 1000 nurses and other providers representing 121 countries (e.g., Belgium, Denmark, Tanzania, Nairobi, Uganda, Ethiopia, Jordan, Iran, India, Vietnam, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Brazil, to name a few) and from a variety of settings (e.g., professional nursing associations, practice, academics, and WHO). Topics cover education for obstetric nurses and traditional midwives who deliver childbirth, postpartum, and newborn care, difficulties staffing rural areas, medications for hemorrhage, neonatal resuscitation, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (, and health effects of violence and war, to name a few. One recent thread discussed increasing the global nursing and midwifery workforce and presence in leadership positions. A following discussion addressed the declining number of nurses and midwives in leadership positions at the WHO.


I joined a GANM subcommunity on information and communications technologies that focuses on how informatics tools and structures can be used to support nurses and midwives in low-resource settings. Currently, members can view an hour-long video on the use of informatics with HIV/AIDS in Africa. Visit the IBP Knowledge Gateway to participate in global collaboration. Contribute your expertise and learn in a community of practice!!




Global Alliance for Nursing and Midwifery Communities of Practice. (2006). Implementing best practices initiative. Retrieved April 24, 2007, from[Context Link]