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Global Health Nurse in Residence Program

The Global Health Nurse in Residence Program promotes the profession of nursing and the nursing model of care as a primary means to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations in resource-limited settings around the globe.

Program Description

The Global Health Nurse in Residence (NiR) Program focuses on promoting nursing education, service, and capacity-building. Currently, the program operates within communities in the Central Province of Kenya and is administered by the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH). Currently, the program is open to U.S. applicants, though expansion to Kenyan nurses may occur in the future.

The program provides the opportunity for licensed nursing professionals affiliated with Vanderbilt University to serve, train, network and collaborate with Kenyan nurses and other health care workers for up to 12 weeks in the Central Province of Kenya with the goals of improving health and well-being of local populations while enhancing the knowledge, education and skills of Kenyan nurses.

Selected participants will identify a U.S.- or Kenya-based mentor or mentoring committee. Participants are expected to spend up to 12 weeks in-country working on projects related to the health care delivery system and nursing education protocols. Collaboration with Kenyan counterparts and long-term capacity building are important program priorities. Examples of projects include:

  • Identify existing strengths and weaknesses within the health care delivery system of the region
  • Create nursing education protocols based on research and interviews with local nursing professionals and educators
  • Work with a host agency to identify and create appropriate quality improvement strategies and tools

For participants who will work in the clinics, a temporary Kenyan nursing license will be required (VIGH will assist in this process). Lodging in-country is provided by local host families. Throughout their time in Kenya, participants provide bi-weekly reports on their project for the VIGH website. Participants are also responsible for submitting a culminating report at the end of their project.

Check out the NiR blog to learn about 2013 NiR projects!


Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Current U.S. nursing license
  • M.S.N. (Master of Science in Nursing) degree
  • At least 21 years of age
  • Affiliation with Vanderbilt University* (employee or student at the time of application and/or graduate of VUSN within the last 3 years, or direct communication with NiR team if otherwise affiliated)
  • Flexibility to travel (minimum of 8 weeks; maximum of 12 weeks)
  • Good health with the ability to adapt to living and working in rural, resource-limited settings
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident

Once selected, participants will complete pre-departure orientation and briefing sessions at the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health.

*It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to seek approval from their employer to receive time off.

2015 Application

Deadline: Applications are not currently being accepted.

Application Requirements:

Completed online application with the following uploaded materials:

  • Curriculum vitae/resume
  • 3 letters of recommendation (at least 2 from a professional contact)
  • Budget*

Letters of recommendation should be sent by mail or email directly by the letter writer to the address below:

Nurse in Residence Selection Committee
Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health
2525 West End Avenue, Suite 750
Nashville, TN 37203
(Internal Mail 8719)

*Applicants should estimate costs for round-trip airfare, vaccinations, visa, travel insurance, and local ground transportation. The NiR award will cover these costs up to a predetermined limit; any upgrades (e.g., first-class airfare) will be the responsibility of the selected applicant(s). The NiR award will also cover costs of lodging and board with a local Kenyan family, as well as a per diem based on previous participants’ experiences. If the applicant would like to make alternate lodging arrangements and/or exceed the per diem, (s)he will be responsible for these costs. Participants will also be responsible for any personal travel and/or expenses.

Previous Participants

2012 Elizabeth Harris (through the Frist Global Health Scholars Program)

2013 Grace Appert and Laine Scott-Nelson

2014 Carly Prentice and Jim Yates


Marie Martin
Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health
(615) 322-9374