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It is enormously helpful to look outside your own health system to learn from others. In this section, we explore various avenues that will help you to do that.

Global Network of Public Health Nursing (GNPHN)

The GNPHN is a network of public health nurses, health visitors and community nurses working in public health – and a partner organisation to the Institute of Health Visiting.  The aim is to help public health nurses develop their practice where ever they are.  The GNPHN is a very new organisation with big ambitions.

In March 2019, GNPHN will be holding its 5th International GNPHN Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, which we hope many health visitors will attend.  Further details will be available shortly.

International Health Experience

The NHS increasingly recognises that health is a global concern. Recently ‘Global Health Exchange’ has been launched. It promotes international placements in low and middle income countries for students of all disciplines in training and exchanges within the existing NHS workforce.

Catherine Lowenhoff, Fellow of the Institute of Health Visiting provides an example of the benefits of overseas experience.  She undertook a travelling Fellowship to Australia supported by the Winston Churchill Memorial Fund.

International Collaboration for Community Health Nursing Research (ICCHNR)

ICCHNR was registered as a charity in 1995 to achieve the following aims:

  • To demonstrate the value of community health care nursing research for improving the quality of health care.
  • To advance and share knowledge of community health care nursing practice through research.
  • To increase personal commitment by community nurses to evidence based practice.
  • To encourage the appropriate use of research for community nursing.
  • To promote awareness of the contribution of community health care nursing to healthy public policies and alliances.

ICCHNR is also committed to supporting community nursing in developing countries, through its international network of nurse researchers, international conferences and fund raising activities.

ICCHNR is actively working with other organisations to develop an International Public Health Nursing Network.

The Institute of Health Visiting and international work

The iHV has hosted a UNICEF delegation from Central East European /Commonwealth of Independent States(CEE/CIS).

International work in health visiting

Health visiting in the UK is distinctive, but there are similar professions internationally. Related terms are listed by Karen Whittaker as

  • Health visitor – UK, Denmark & Norway
  • Child health nurse – Sweden
  • Public health nurse – America, Canada, Ireland
  • Child & family health nurse – Australia
  • Plunket nurse – New Zealand
  • Social nurses – Belgium
  • Lady health visitors & Lady Health Workers– Pakistan
  • Patronage nurse – Serbia, Kosovo

International Membership with the iHV

International membership has been introduced for those living overseas who would like to have access to the latest evidence-based research, reports, briefings and other materials relevant to the work of the health visitor, as well as helping the Institute to raise international awareness of the important role of health visitors.

International membership flyer