Faye Hummel, professor of Nursing at the University of Northern Colorado, was recently recognized by Vietnam's Ministry of Health for her leadership in establishing the first and only master's of science nursing program in the country.
Hummel was awarded the title of Professor Honorius Causa from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Ho Chi Minh City for her contribution to Vietnamese medical education and tutoring Vietnamese students in nursing over the past two decades. The ministry noted that nursing education and practice in Vietnam has improved drastically as a result of Hummel's work.
Hummel volunteers her time to co-direct the Friendship Bridge Nurses Group, a non-governmental organization that partners with Vietnamese educators and policymakers to advance the profession of nursing and improve health care in Vietnam.
Hummel was instrumental in developing the FBNG and implementing its program by generating curricula, developing standards and providing feedback.
Since the program's inception in 2007, 25 Vietnamese nurses have graduated with a master's degree in nursing, doubling the country's total number of nurses with an advanced degree. A new class of 37 students was welcomed into the program for this fall.
In addition to developing the master's program, Hummel and her colleagues have sponsored nine nurses from Vietnam on study tours of nursing education and practice in the United States. The exchange program has allowed Vietnamese nurses to benefit from the knowledge of the U.S. nursing system.
To date, 12 UNC School of Nursing faculty have participated in teaching nursing courses and guiding nursing thesis research in Vietnam.