Josephine Ensign selected to receive a 2018-19 Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant

Josephine Ensign

Josephine Ensign

Josephine Ensign selected to receive a 2018-19 Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant to design social justice population health teaching model

Josephine Ensign, UW professor of nursing has been selected to receive a 2018-19 Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant for her research project, Evaluating a Social Justice Framework for Students Nurses at Scale.

The specific aims for her research project are to design an innovative teaching model for incorporating a social justice framework using health humanities modalities in a large population health course (100 to 600 students) for pre-licensure nursing students in the United Kingdom; and to pilot test, evaluate and refine this innovative teaching model for use at scale.

Nursing students in the United States and UK are taught about the existence of health inequities, but are not prepared to challenge the structure of those health inequities that result in negative health consequences for individuals, families, communities, and populations. If students are taught and encouraged to value social justice and a deep understanding of population health, there can be a movement for social and health care change, Ensign said.

“The results of this research can inform nurse education in the U.K., U.S. and other countries,” Ensign said. “Longer term, this could result in nurses who are better prepared to be change agents within healthcare systems and to more effectively address health inequities.”

Ensign will work with nurse researchers and faculty at Edinburgh Napier University, as well as with Paul Crawford, professor of Health Humanities and a psychiatric nurse at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Nottingham University; and Kathie Lasater, Oregon Health & Science University professor of nursing who has a linked Fulbright grant at Edinburgh. This summer, the team will help lay the groundwork on the service-learning community engagement aspect of the research project.

“With this Fulbright award and fellowship experience, it will provide me with a cultural immersion, and have a profound and positive effect on my teaching and scholarship when I return to UW,” Ensign said. “More specifically, the research results will inform the implementation and evaluation of our re-envisioned BSN with a social justice and population health framework.”

Ensign’s expertise focuses on social justice, interprofessional education, community engagement and the use of creative modalities to inform problem-solving of deep societal issues. She also coordinates the UW’s Homelessness Research Initiative’s Doorway Project, an effort to establish a neighborhood hub and navigation center specifically for homeless young people.