Global Health in Swedish Nursing Curricula: Navigating the Desirable and the Necessary

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Global health challenges are likely to be aggravated in the coming years by rapid climate change and environmental degradation. To address the resulting health inequities, nurses need an integrated understanding of environmental and social determinants of health. This study adopts an explorative inductive approach to examine how global health and sustainability are expressed the course syllabi of undergraduate nursing programmes (n = 24) in Sweden. After excluding biomedical and other unrelated content, 67 syllabi were selected for a thematic analysis. Results indicate that global health, the social determinants of health and sustainability tend to appear in a fragmented manner in the syllabi. Global health content is often limited, relegated to elective courses, or altogether
missing. A theoretical framework is lacking, and focus lies on an individual rather than structural perspective. Based on international policy, earlier studies on undergraduate nursing education and theoretical work, suggestions are made for how global health and sustainability content could be integrated into nursing education, notably by using a structural competency approach.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9372
Pages (from-to)1-21
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept 5

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Nursing
  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Free keywords

  • Global health
  • social determinants of health
  • health equity
  • environmental justice
  • sustainability
  • Agenda 2030
  • undergraduate nursing education
  • course syllabi


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