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October 29, 2001

Dignitaries welcome Lillian Carter Center

By Holly Korschun


International nursing experts and healthcare planners from around the globe met at the Carter Center Oct. 15–19 to tackle the worldwide nursing workforce crisis through the international nursing conference, “Global Nursing Partnerships: Strategies for a Sustainable Nursing Workforce.”

Organized by the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing’s new Lillian Carter Center for International Nursing, which served as secretariat, the conference was the first-ever global invitational forum involving representatives from both governments and nursing associations, including government chief nursing officers, national and international nursing association leaders, and human resource directors/
health planners.

Representatives from approximately 60 countries attended the event, including President Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who participated in the
Oct. 18 dedication of the Lillian Carter Center, named in honor of Carter’s late mother, a nurse and a Peace Corps volunteer. Bobby Jindal, assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and Yvonne Green, director of women’s health for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also addressed the conference.

“The nursing school was privileged to be the lead force in the most remarkable gathering of key leaders I have ever experienced,” said nursing Dean Marla Salmon, who directs the Lillian Carter Center. “Because we were able to provide scholarship support, in part through the generosity of donors, we were able to bring all country partners who applied from the least developed parts of the world.

“It was remarkable and humbling to join leaders from such countries as Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, Haiti and others from virtually every region,” Salmon continued. “Their commitment and work during the five days was truly inspiring and unforgettable. The government chief nursing officers have asked that the School of Nursing serve as the secretariat for their global network, continuing to host events such as these and providing an ongoing focal point for leadership development for nurses worldwide.”

Salmon is a former director of the U.S. Government Division of Nursing and immediate past chair of the World Health Organi-zation’s Global Advisory Group of Nursing and Midwifery.

Key planning partners for the international conference included the WHO; the International Council of Nurses; the Common-wealth Health Ministers Steering Committee for Nursing & Midwifery; the Chief Nurse of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; the Chief Nurse of the Government of Canada; and the Director of the Division of Nursing, Bureau of Health Professions and Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Conference participants addressed networking issues, formed strategic alliances and built skills in policy, advocacy and problem solving. The event’s first three days consisted of working meetings, including networking forums for government chief nursing officers and national nursing associations and development of strategic partnerships. Over the final two days, national human resource directors and health planners joined the chief nurses and nursing leaders to address key nursing workforce issues confronting countries around the world.

“The global nursing shortage, acute in many regions, can only be solved through serious and strategic partnerships between national nursing associations, government representatives and human resource planners,” explained Judith Oulton, chief executive officer of the International Council of Nurses.

Although chief nursing officers and national nursing associations have met regionally over the past several years, the Global Nursing Partnerships conference was the largest international gathering of nursing leaders and the first to focus on building partnerships.

Major funding for the conference was provided by Emory; the Government of Canada through the Canadian Inter-national Development Agency; the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Health Resources and Services Administration-Division of Nursing); International Council of Nurses; World Health Organization; Cerner Corporation; and Sigma Theta Tau International.

The conference sessions are available through a web archive at


Back to Emory Report October 29, 2001