Help Unleash the Nursing Brigade

This picture is of a nurse giving a little girl a shot in the HondurasNursing students at Trent University have a unique opportunity to join a health promotion and nursing educational brigade to Central America as part of their second year Community Health Placement.  Programs such as this help prepare nursing students for the many challenges they will face in their future careers and offer students the opportunity to see firsthand the enormous disparities in health status and access to health services, both within and across countries.

During their 12-day journey, students will travel to remote villages where they will be faced with social justice issues while working with those most vulnerable - children with disabilities, young women and children. Students will support primary health care needs in both urban and rural settings and will provide important education on topics such as sexual health, family planning, gender equality, nutrition, dental care and clean water access. As part of the brigade, they will also install and maintain clean water filters, help develop community gardens, and complete small construction projects to aid and assist communities in healthy daily living.

Traditionally, this experience was only available in Honduras, however through a new partnership with Horizons of Friendship (a local non-profit in Cobourg, Ontario), we are pleased to expand this learning opportunity into other Central American countries such as Nicaragua and Guatemala where students will focus more on maternal, newborn and children’s health concerns.

The upcoming 2019 brigade to Honduras will include second year nursing students, each of whom is responsible to pay for their own flights.  However, there are other costs associated with this tremendous learning experience and students are asked to raise $3,600 each in order to cover additional costs and to help fund a student who is struggling financially and may otherwise not be able to benefit from this experience.

Programs like this are important learning opportunities for Trent nursing students but the cost can be a barrier for some.  Please consider supporting our future nurses through either a monthly donation or a one-time gift. Your support will not only help a Trent nursing student prepare for their future, but will make a difference in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable.

This important learning opportunity is led by Dr. Patti Tracey, (Trent Nursing faculty and Global Health Researcher) who firmly believes nursing health brigades can be beneficial and provide appropriate and quality health services through in-country partnerships that help support and strengthen local healthcare systems. 

Brigade experience has lasting impact on students

Barbara holding a child"My trip to Honduras was my first international experience and it made me realize that nursing is universal. The experience shaped my career and I now work at a world-class institution, The Centre for Global Child Health at SickKids Hospital. I continue to contribute to the Nursing Brigade at Trent hoping to inspire the global health nurses of tomorrow;
- Barbara Couper '06 





Abby sitting with a group of children"Since joining the brigade as a student, I’ve travelled to Honduras with Patti four more times. The trips have made me a more culturally-competent nurse, able to see my patients in their entirety rather than simply focusing on their illness. Caring for patients in Honduras has made me more aware of the social determinants of health, and although the disparities may not appear as evident here in Canada, my patients here benefit from my experience each and every day.”
-Abigail Caddick '12  




Allen holding a child

"The brigade in Honduras changed my view of global health. Sharing our knowledge and skills with local villagers empowered them to teach others, thereby creating sustainable change within their communities. As a student, this kind of experience is not achievable in a classroom.”
-Allen Vo '13