Graduates of Walden’s online nursing programs are improving the health of people all over the world. They’re using their online nursing degree to do everything from preventing disease in Uganda to caring for the elderly in India.
Each year, Walden’s Scholars of Change video contest showcases students and graduates who are effecting positive social change. The nursing degree program alumni featured here are using the lessons they learned at Walden to help those who need it the most.
A 2013 Scholar of Change, Joan Kempango used her online master’s degree in nursing to improve the health of an entire Ugandan village.
A native Ugandan, Kempango noticed that residents of Baale Village in the Luwero District suffered from high rates of preventable diseases, such as typhoid fever and dysentery. To help combat the spread of these conditions, she set up training and intervention aimed at teaching residents proper sanitation methods including handwashing, lavatory use, and the preparation of clean water. She credits her online nursing degree program with giving her the knowledge and confidence she needed to develop this vital program.
“I turned my passion into action,” she says. That action proved incredibly successful as the number of residents suffering from preventable diseases in the village dropped dramatically. “Social change is at the heart of Walden’s mission,” Kempango says—and she’s glad her online degree has taught her how to help others in a lasting way.
Reis Woollen, a registered nurse (RN) and a 2010 Scholar of Change, is using her online bachelor’s in nursing to help improve the care of India’s elderly.
Modernization has changed Indian family structures and left many older adults vulnerable. Reis is helping to change that, and she credits her ability to effect change to her online education. Before her degree, she only knew how to provide care, she says. “I didn’t have a scholarly approach to evaluating health research and transmitting it in practical ways. But now I’m doing just that.”
Thanks to her online degree, she’s giving Indian families the skills and knowledge they need to provide elder care that’s both evidence-based and culturally appropriate. “Learning in Walden’s global classroom has transformed me from student to change agent,” she says.
An RN and a 2011 Scholar of Change, Marie Walsh turned to Walden’s online nursing program to give her the tools to teach future healthcare workers how to better care for patients.
Having worked extensively in alcohol and drug recovery, Walsh knows how important it is for healthcare workers to not just treat patients, but to guide them toward better lives. Her Master of Science in Nursing has given her the skills she needs not only to educate her patients, but also to teach others in her field how to help their own patients make healthier choices. It’s a passing down of knowledge from Walden faculty members to their student healthcare professionals to individual patient populations. “With this domino effect, there have been many lives that have been touched and inspired,” she says. Walsh is committed to constructively changing society by helping others become their best selves.