Global Health

Graduate Certificate in Global Health

Through the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health, VUSN students can earn the Graduate Certificate in Global Health. The certificate requires 12 additional hours of course credit, including one of the three core courses: Fundamentals of Global Health (NURS 8072), Foundations of Global Health or Foundational Skills in Global Health, a variety of elective courses (including independent study opportunities), and/or a practicum. Learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Global Health.

Since its inception, two VUSN students per year have earned the Global Health Certificate.

Global Health Certificate

Student Name Year Specialty
Jennifer Neczypor 2017 NM/FNP
Kelsey Moore 2017 FNP
Bethany Fjeldheim 2016 NM/FNP
Kristen Smith 2016 Peds
Morgan DeKliene 2015 NM/FNP
Jessica Van Meter 2015 DNP

Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health

The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) maintains a website of resources for students participating in global health (and other international) experiences. The site’s pre-departure travel modules on cultural competency and other information about international health insurance, free VU evacuation services (ISOS), and the State Department’s STEP program for travel alerts might be useful for some of your students who are traveling abroad this summer. Students can find this all of this information and more on VIGH’s student travel portal (VUnetID login required). Additionally, the pre-departure modules and project development and educational resources may be helpful as well.

Independent Studies in Global Health

Students interested in completing independent studies can submit an idea to Dr. Carol Ziegler or another faculty mentor of their choice. Students can register for an independent study and gain credit towards the global health certificate, as well as complete a local practical and meaningful project in a community of their choice. Students completing independent studies are expected to engage in mentored scholarship and disseminate their work within and outside of the VUSN community. 

Global Health and Environmental Justice Club

The Global Health and Environmental Justice Club meets monthly to host speakers presenting current topics in global health. These announcements are sent out through the global health listserv.

Please email carol.c.ziegler@Vanderbilt.Edu if you are interested.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Nursing Student Global Health Club has hosted two open discussions on diversity and inclusion and more are planned. These pithy sessions allow students and faculty a safe space to openly and honestly discuss how to build meaningful relationships in the current environment. Students and faculty share stories, and work to build empathy and meaningful dialogue to foster long-term change and relationship building. Hard questions around the topic of race in America, and across the globe, are addressed and discussed.

Global Health Project Funding Opportunities for Nursing Students

Please contact Dr. Carol Ziegler to discuss your project ideas.

The Nichols Humanitarian Fund
The Nichols Humanitarian Fund is administered through the Office of Active Citizenship and Service. Humanitarian Service Awards from the Fund are made yearly.  In the fall semester, applications are available to fund service projects that will be implemented during the summer academic break. Applications become available on October 1st and are due November 15th. If you have any questions about the Nichols Humanitarian Fund or the award application process, please contact Meagan Smith in Vanderbilt University’s Office of Active Citizenship and Service at .

Previous VUSN Nichols Fund Recipients:

  • 2015 Jennifer Neczypor, Maternal and Child health in Vanuatu

The Frist Global Health Leaders Program
The Frist Global Health Leaders Program provides students (and recent graduates), residents, and fellows in health professions the opportunity to serve and train in under-served communities around the world for up to four months. Since 2008, the Frist Global Health Leaders Program has supported over 45 Vanderbilt University participants. Vanderbilt participants have served and trained in under-served communities in countries around the world, including Guatemala, Guyana, Bolivia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Zambia, Bangladesh, and Thailand.

Participants develop their own "project," which ranges from serving in rural clinics to conducting needs assessments to providing training sessions to clinic workers or health education programs to parents and children, and often includes a combination of these examples. Frist Global Health Leaders connect with a hospital or clinic in a low-resource setting and develop a project that leverages the participant's strengths and skills to satisfy a community's need(s). Projects generally range from two to four months and should align with both the needs of the clinic and community and the mission of Hope through Healing Hands.

Looking for more information? The blog posts of previous FGHLs can provide insight to their work and experiences. Recent VUSN graduates who have completed FGHL projects include Kristen Smith and Yvonne Carter.

The priority deadline for applications is February 1st.

If you would like more information, please contact Elizabeth at

  • 2016, Kristen Smith, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Maternal and Child Health in Guatemala
  • 2015, Yvonne Carter, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Ecuador
  • 2015, Emily duBois Hollander, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Maternal and Child Health, Primeros Pasos, Guatemala
  • 2014- not offered
  • 2013 no VUSN recipients
  • 2012, Elizabeth Harris, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
  • 2012, Courtney Massaro, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
  • 2011, Kayla Thielk, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing