McMaster University

McMaster University

Global Health Professional Practice Application Process


For questions regarding Global Health Professional Practice placements, please contact Dr. Iris Mujica at or 905-525-9140 ext. 24730. Please ensure that you have reviewed all the information in this website before.

For submission of application documents, please contact Michelle Buchner in the BScN office at HSC-2J36 or at

Summer or Fall 2017

What to consider when selecting your Global Health Professional Practice placement?

Your placement should:

  1. Be in a low or middle income country (preferably) or contact a member of the GHEC for feasibility of your placement.

    Note: If your focus is on indigenous peoples’ health, you can choose an outpost placement within Canada or select a rural setting with a large indigenous focus in a high income country (i.e. Australia & New Zealand).
  2. Be preferably in a community setting to explore the role of the nurse in primary health care.  Should you choose another focus, provide rationale in the LOI (see below).
  3. Be able to accommodate your visit for 12 weeks (summer or fall term).
  4. Be able to provide a registered nurse as preceptor who:
    • has experience in the field
    • has preferably a BScN or equivalent degree
    • speaks English and the language of care
    • is willing to assess you at midterm and end-of-term
    • is able to facilitate learning experiences.

Housing and Transportation

Safe and affordable accommodation near your clinical setting as well as transportation arrangements should be addressed in your discussions with the host organization.

Internet Connection

Access to the internet with reasonable bandwidth is necessary to facilitate communication with your tutor at McMaster.

Important Dates

Note: There will be NO exceptions to the deadlines listed below. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their file is complete.

Steps Descriptions

Step 1: Create Your Dossier

Comprising parts A & B (below)

Students must pay an administrative fee of $50.00 in the form of a cheque, payable to McMaster University, including Global Health Application Fee in the memo line. Submit the cheque and following documents to Michelle Buchner at HSC-2J36 by 4pm on Thursday November 10, 2016.

A: Letter of Intent (LOI)

* If you are not selecting one of the recommended placements, you need to speak with Prof. Iris Mujica regarding the feasibility of your placement before submitting your letter of intent.

  • 3-page limit, 1" margins, 10- point font, single-spaced, in the signature area, include your name, site, McMaster student number and McMaster e-mail address.
  • Letter should be addressed to GHEC chair: Professor Iris Mujica cc: Global Health Education Committee
  • Describe your two main learning goals.

Indicate the following:

  • Your geographic preference (country or region) and why.
  • Your knowledge of the setting you are visiting, i.e. geography, history, demographics, health care system, priority health care issues, role of nursing.
  • Your clinical focus, i.e. community or other as well as the type of population you may care for (i.e. adult, pediatric, women, etc.) and why.
  • Your language skills if relevant to the language of care.

    Note: If you are going to a Latin American country, you must be fluent in the language of care (i.e. Spanish).
  • Your knowledge of the nursing profession in the country or role of the nurse in the clinical setting.
  • How will this placement differ from a placement in Southern Ontario?
  • Indicate which term you plan on completing your placement (summer or fall).

    Submit The Global Health Clinical Preparation Checklist (under the “forms” section).

    N4K10 is not an option at this time.

B: A copy of your resumé (no more than two pages)

Include any previous international, outpost, cross-cultural or relevant experience.

Step 2: The Interview

The above documents will be assessed by the Global Health Education Committee (GHEC) and, if complete and successful, you will be contacted for an interview between December 7-9, 2016

The interviewers will be two faculty members who are members of  GHEC.  Normally one will be from your site. Interviews are scored. Should you fail the interview, you will NOT have the opportunity for a second attempt and will not proceed to the next step. 

In preparation for the interview, review your LOI (part A) and consider the following:

  • your understanding of BScN curriculum
  • the SON philosophy of learning and N4J07 course aims as they relate to your planned practice placement (under the “multimedia” section)
  • the challenges of being placed in your planned setting.
  • your personal attributes for success, including interpersonal, problem-solving, group skills, etc.

Step 3: Academic Record

Your grade report will be reviewed by the Coordinator of Studies by January 16, 2017 to ensure that you meet the minimum academic requirements for success. If your academic record does not meet the requirements, you will be informed by the Chair of the Global Health Education Committee.

All applicants should normally fulfill the following pre-requisites:

  • Successful completion of HTH SCI 2RR3
  • Successful completion of Level III (including elective courses)
  • Successful completion of N4H03: Introduction to Issues in Global Health (offered in the Winter Term)
  • Successful completion of all the BScN program requirements for the Level IV clinical courses
  • No 'FAILS' in any clinical courses
Basic stream students
  • Cumulative average of 8.0 in all Level II and Term 1 of Level III
Post-RPN stream students
  • Cumulative average of 8.0 in Term 2 of Level II and Term 1 of Level III
Basic Accelerated stream students
  • Cumulative average of 8.0
  • Proof of having completed more than 70% of the content of N4H03 (Introduction to Concepts in Global Health)

Step 4: Letters of Reference

Using the standardized referee form, submit two Letters of Reference to Michelle Buchner at HSC-2J36 by 4:00pm on Monday January 16, 2017

For Basic stream students: Letters of reference from clinical tutors (one from Level II and one from Level III).

For Post-RPN stream students: One from a clinical tutor and one from an employer.

Note. Based on the information received throughout this application process, the Global Health Education Committee (GHEC) reserves the right to decide if the student is appropriate or not for the professional practice placement. You must be successful in all steps of the process. If successful, you will be contacted before during the week of January 23, 2017 to proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Risk & Liability

The following will need to be submitted to Michelle Buchner at HSC-2J36 no later than 4:00 pm, March 10, 2017

  • Liability agreement between yourself and McMaster University
  • Field trip application required by the Risk Management Office of McMaster University.

Step 6: Final Documentation

The following will need to be submitted to Michelle Buchner at HSC-2J36 well in advance of your departure:

  • Copy of your travel itinerary,
  • Proof of private medical insurance,
  • List of emergency contacts in Canada,
  • Information where you can be contacted while in your placement (address, phone, e-mail).

Step 7:Register with DFAIT

We strongly suggest that all students register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) Canada (see website).

Step 8: Pre-departure Orientation Workshop

Attend a Pre-departure Orientation Workshop organized by the School of Nursing at the McMaster site (normally offered in April). At this workshop you will be required to complete other forms as needed by the School.

Note: Your Global Health Professional Practice Placement should normally start at the beginning of Summer or Fall term respectively. The Placement is normally 12 weeks in length. You must attend the N4J07-GH course orientation before you begin your placement.

Step 9: Reentry Session

Share your Global Health experiences at the fall/winter re-entry session. This occurs in Early September and January once you return to Canada.

Questions to consider

  • How would you cope with situations that trouble you, or you disagree with, and over which you have no control?
  • How would you cope with a situation that does not fit your original learning objectives?
  • Could you adapt easily to unexpected events and be prepared to make contingency plans?
  • What impact do you anticipate having on the people and the organization where you choose to do your placement?
  • How would you interpret and react to positive and negative attitudes toward you (e.g. people may assume you are very knowledgeable and competent or may discriminate against you for a variety of reasons)?
  • What kind of living conditions do you anticipate? What could you live with? How do you expect to cope with your new living environment? Have you anticipated less privacy?
  • What impact might your setting or placement experience have on your own health?
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