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Penn Global Nursing Fellowship: Alumni

Thanks to a $1 million endowment, Penn Nursing has expanded an exciting program to provide our skilled graduates and faculty with the opportunity to engage in meaningful projects that support the health-related work of global organizations committed to serving vulnerable populations.


Building on the success of Penn Nursing’s first Global Nursing Fellow, who worked on a community mental health project in India in 2018, the Global Nursing Fellows Program (GNFP)  catalyzes personal and professional growth and leadership to advance competitively selected projects of organizations operating in a global context.  Fellowships available through the Penn Global Nursing Fellowship program have been made possible through the Beatrice Renfield Foundation and individual funders. These Fellowships provide an opportunity for extended global engagement of three months to a year, depending on the needs of the organization. Continue reading to learn about benefits, how to participate and to enjoy the stories of former Fellows.


Global Nursing Fellow Advantages

The Penn Global Nursing Fellowship Program (PGNF) was designed in response to the desire of our graduates (alumni) to engage in meaningful global health work. The PGNF program provides financial and mentoring support that allows selected alumni to make a significant contribution to a worthwhile global effort. The mechanics of the PGNF program involve matching of host-organization-specified needs with skills that can be provided by our alumni when supported by a Penn Nursing faculty mentor.    

  • Real-life, often on-the-ground experience with a global organization
  • Exposure to another nation and culture with guidance from country hosts 
  • Visibility of your global engagement via website and presentation platforms
  • Small stipend that helps to make travel possible
  • <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/17540-barbara-doyle"><img src="/live/image/gid/80/width/200/height/200/crop/1/src_region/33,50,275,292/12371_Barbara_Doyle.rev.1649770956.png" alt="" class="lw_image" width="200" height="200" data-max-w="242" data-max-h="242"/></a></span><h4><a href="/live/profiles/17540-barbara-doyle">Barbara Doyle</a></h4><h2><p> The fellowship gave me an opportunity to get back into nursing, support the School, and revisit global nursing from the Peace Corps work I did 30 years ago.  [It] exceeded my expectations as we were really able to help shape and grow the [Partners In Health] program.</p></h2>
  • <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/17704-lauren-welch"><img src="/live/image/gid/80/width/200/height/200/crop/1/src_region/0,69,582,650/13826_Welch_picture.rev.1671654959.jpg" alt="" class="lw_image" width="200" height="200" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/80/width/200/height/200/crop/1/src_region/0,69,582,650/13826_Welch_picture.rev.1671654959.jpg 2x" data-max-w="582" data-max-h="581"/></a></span><h4><a href="/live/profiles/17704-lauren-welch">Lauren Welch</a></h4><h2><p> I had previously worked in Global Public Health and was interested in returning to the work and was grateful for the opportunity to do so through a Global Nursing Fellowship.  It was wonderful to work with Partners in Health – I respect the mission and organization immensely.  It was valuable – and challenging - to work with a team in numerous geographic locations.</p></h2>
  • <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/17527-stephanie-chu"><img src="/live/image/gid/80/width/200/height/200/crop/1/src_region/748,0,2880,2133/12285_Chu_ICU_Headshot_210429_017.rev.1646840793.jpg" alt="Chu, Stephanie" class="lw_image" width="200" height="200" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/80/width/200/height/200/crop/1/src_region/748,0,2880,2133/12285_Chu_ICU_Headshot_210429_017.rev.1646840793.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/80/width/200/height/200/crop/1/src_region/748,0,2880,2133/12285_Chu_ICU_Headshot_210429_017.rev.1646840793.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2132" data-max-h="2133"/></a></span><h4><a href="/live/profiles/17527-stephanie-chu">Stephanie Chu</a></h4><h2><p> I’ve had the desire to work with vulnerable, under-resourced populations in my heart ever since I decided to become a nurse in high school. I knew this fellowship would open my eyes to the world of health care outside of the U.S. and leave me with a richer perspective and the ability to help those who need it most.</p></h2>
  • <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/17517-alison-ercole"><img src="/live/image/gid/80/width/200/height/200/crop/1/src_region/0,0,721,908/12278_IMG_1699.rev.1646159749.JPG" alt="Alison Ercole, Nu’11, GNu’14" class="lw_image" width="200" height="200" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/80/width/200/height/200/crop/1/src_region/0,0,721,908/12278_IMG_1699.rev.1646159749.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/80/width/200/height/200/crop/1/src_region/0,0,721,908/12278_IMG_1699.rev.1646159749.JPG 3x" data-max-w="721" data-max-h="908"/></a></span><h4><a href="/live/profiles/17517-alison-ercole">Alison Ercole</a></h4><h2><p> While completing my BSN, I was able to take Penn’s Comparing Health Care Systems in an Intercultural Context course with a study abroad experience in India.  When I saw this [fellowship] opportunity, I went for it. The fellowship was a perfect fit because The Banyan serves women with mental health issues, and I am a Psychiatric-Mental Health NP. </p></h2>
  • <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/17532-luca-koritsanszky"><img src="/live/image/gid/80/width/200/height/200/crop/1/src_region/0,0,400,400/12310_Koritsanszky_-_Photo.rev.1648038708.jpg" alt="" class="lw_image" width="200" height="200" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/80/width/200/height/200/crop/1/src_region/0,0,400,400/12310_Koritsanszky_-_Photo.rev.1648038708.jpg 2x" data-max-w="400" data-max-h="400"/></a></span><h4><a href="/live/profiles/17532-luca-koritsanszky">Luca Koritsanszky</a></h4><h2><p> This fellowship was an opportunity for me to apply my public health skills to support the field of nursing beyond the clinical setting. My favorite memory is the greater experience of watching incredible nurse leaders from low- and middle-income countries overcome immense challenges to not only complete the fellowship and grow in their leadership skills, but to support each other across the world.</p></h2>

Commitment of a Global Nursing Fellow

Fellows are terrific representatives of our formidable alumni community.  When they agree to take on a given project for a given period of time, we look forward to their respect of that commitment.

Successful Host Organization Characteristics

Penn Nursing engages with host organizations that we believe can provide excellent opportunities for our Fellows.  The following are characteristics we seek in a host organization.

  • Commitment to improving life for vulnerable populations
  • Possession of a track record of effective mentoring and use of resources
  • Reputation for positive impact on the communities they serve
  • Ability to propose impactful projects with opportunities for meaningful collaboration by Fellows
  • Capacity to provide active supervision and logistical support

How to Become a Global Nursing Fellow

  • At Penn Nursing, Global Health Affairs (GHA) works with Alumni Affairs to advertise opportunities offered by selected organizations.
  • Interested alumni should respond as quickly as possible, submitting required resumes and statements of interest,  including relevant skills and availability
  • Replies are sent by GHA, indicating whether host organizations request an interview.

If a match is made…

Contracts / informal letter (email) agreements with the host organization and the Fellow are prepared by GHA, specifying the commitments each party is making, including:

  • Support offered by host organization
  • Stipends offered to Fellows and to Penn Nursing Mentor

Additional advice will be made available regarding travel, required visas (business visa/tourist visa) using CIBT Penn Portal, and the use of Penn resources like My Trips and International SOS

Fellowship Period

When travel is possible, this period begins with a one-week trip by the Fellow(s) and Mentor so that the scope of the project and the on-the-ground situation can be better assessed.

The Mentor returns to the SON and the Fellow remains in country for the duration of the agreed upon period, contributing on a full-time basis to the agreed-upon activities.  Note, if the Fellowship is deemed best undertaken remotely, the commitment will likely be less than full-time.  

At a minimum, the Fellow(s) and Mentor meet remotely on a weekly basis for a discussion of progress, challenges, advice, and identification of needed resources for success.

It is recommended that Fellows maintain an activity log and/or reflections journal as a souvenir of the experience and reference for future talks and/or interviews.

Depending on the length of the commitment, the Fellow/Mentor may also communicate with Marketing and Communications for sharing of progress via Penn Nursing news / social media / website outlets.

End of Fellowship

Within one month of ending the Fellowship, Fellows should complete required documentation.  Feedback on the Fellowship experience is welcome at the end of and throughout the engagement period.

Fellows are invited to be a resource for future Fellows and to share their experiences with the Penn Nursing community via interviews, social media, website, etc.

If the host organization and the Fellow wish to continue to collaborate beyond the Penn Global Nursing Fellowship period, it is the responsibility of those two parties to discuss the terms of that continued collaboration; e.g. a paid consultancy. That continued collaboration will no longer receive direct support from Penn Nursing.


Please contact Penn Nursing’s Global Health Affairs office at if you need additional information.

Global Nursing Fellow Stories