Volunteer service and service learning: opportunities, partnerships, and United Nations Millennium Development Goals
Dalmida, Safiya George
Nicholas, Patrice K
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Purpose: This article explores approaches to service involvement and provides direction to nurse leaders and others who wish to begin or further develop global (local and international) service or service learning projects. Approach: We review types of service involvement, analyze service-related data from a recent survey of nearly 500 chapters of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), make recommendations to guide collaborative partnerships and to model engagement in global and local service and service learning. Findings: This article offers a literature review and describes results of a survey conducted by the STTI International Service Learning Task Force. Results describe the types of service currently conducted by STTI nursing members and chapters, including disaster response, service learning, and service-related responses relative to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The needs of chapter members for information about international service are explored and recommendations for promoting global service and sustainability goals for STTI chapters are examined. Conclusions: Before engaging in service, volunteers should consider the types of service engagement, as well as the design of projects to include collaboration, bidirectionality, sustainability, equitable partnerships, and inclusion of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Clinical Relevance: STTI supports the learning, knowledge, and professional development of nurses worldwide. International service and collaboration are key to the advancement of the nursing profession. Culturally relevant approaches to international service and service learning are essential to our global organization, as it aims to impact the health status of people globally.