The University of Washington Bothell Nursing Program is changing its name to “Nursing and Health Studies.” The new name reflects the expansion of the program’s mission to include a focus on global and public health. Next fall, the program will introduce a new bachelor of arts in health studies degree.
"Health is a huge conversation right now, specifically issues of global and public health," says David Allen, Ph.D., director of the nursing and health sciences program. “As the nation debates health care reform, there is a great deal of pressure from employers and policy makers to upgrade the nursing workforce. We know that quality, efficient nursing care is a key factor in reducing hospital stays and achieving optimal patient outcomes.”
Expanding the mission of the Nursing and Health Studies program reinforces UW Bothell’s commitment to interdisciplinary education practice, Allen says. “The study of public health is an inherently interdisciplinary pursuit. It requires one to address cultural systems through the lenses of anthropology, economics, religion, social justice in order to recognize the development of positive or negative impact on health practices; and to begin to find ways of improving health through these systems.”
With the option of four major concentrations, students will have the opportunity to investigate the social and biological predictors of health, conduct policy analysis, use social justice critiques, and understand global health perspectives. In the coursework, students will become prepared for career options in public and global health services; community organization; mental health and substance use services; and health education and communication.
“Our faculty is uniquely qualified to launch a program in global studies,” Allen says, noting that many faculty bring rich public or global health experience along with their academic credentials.
As a university that prides itself on its interdisciplinary scholarship, Allen says the program will be interdisciplinary in nature. “We anticipate students taking courses in virtually every unit,” he says.
Graduates of the Nursing and Health Studies program could work in a clinical setting but are also likely to work in broader fields such as social work or public health. “This degree provides access to the broad field of health for any Bothell student,” Allen says.
For more information on Nursing and Health Studies visit www.uwb.edu/nhs.