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”As teachers we are no longer simply dispensers of knowledge but rather facilitators of learning.”
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“I think many nurses do outstanding and selfless work in their daily practice. What I have done is not so unusual.“
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“There is a very high respect for U.S. higher education in China. Nurses there really want to come here to practice.”
RN and Nursing Instructor
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (Minneapolis Community and Technical College and Normandale Community College)
Jeff Paurus works for two hospitals with the initials “HCMC.” One is Hennepin County Medical Center, where he has instructed community college students for more than 30 years. The other is Ho Chi Minh City Hospital in Vietnam, where this August he set up processes to teach parents about their children’s cardiac surgery and postoperative care as a volunteer with Children’s HeartLink.
Initially, Paurus was uncertain about Children’s HeartLink because he didn’t want to shortchange his own family. His then-15-year-old son intervened. “He was snooping my e-mail,” Paurus says. “He said, ‘Dad, you’re going, aren’t you?’”
After his first teaching trip to Tel Aviv in 1999, Paurus wrote a sabbatical plan around volunteering in China. He’s gone every year since; in 2005 he helped start an academic partnership between Minneapolis Community and Technical College and Huzhou University in Zhejiang. “I have taken nursing students to Huzhou seven times, and Huzhou’s faculty and students have come to Minneapolis three times,” he says. The outcome: Patients get better care from nurses who identify as citizens of the world.