10 Years of Learning: The ICD/MSD Nursing Mobile Library

Improving community health services depends to a large extent on the knowledge and skills of the health care workers in those communities. In the United States, Europe, and other industrialized nations, the latest medical information is readily available. But nurses working in remote regions of developing countries often have little or no access to basic, up-to-date medical information and training. Elsevier Science has teamed up with the International Council of Nurses to help.

Since 2001, the International Council of Nurses (ICN), Elsevier Science, and Merck have joined forces to support the ICN Nursing Mobile Library, which makes the latest medical information available to health professionals in developing countries to help improve the quality of care among the world’s most vulnerable populations. The ICN recently recognized Elsevier for its efforts in coordinating and supporting the shipment of resources to the ICN Nursing Mobile Library. Elsevier has contributed textbooks in almost every nursing specialty.

The mobile library provides practical, effective tools to promote health and prevent illness, focusing on giving nurses and other health care personnel access to the latest information and reference materials to help them manage the delivery of health care to populations in need. The mobile library contains more than 80 nursing and health care publications, including books, manuals, fact sheets, and selected training materials all housed in durable trunks that be easily transported to remote areas, even over difficult terrain. Each library addresses the health needs and priorities of the specific country and location being targeted.

To date, more than 250 mobile libraries have been delivered to communities in rural Africa, including clinics, health centers, refugee camps, and hospitals, helping thousands of nurses―not to mention their patients.

Closing the Educational Gap

The Nursing Mobile Library hopes to close the gap between the need and the availability of health and medical information for nurses. It delivers critical up-to-date health care information to nurses working in areas with poor access to such materials and supplements the training of professional nurses and other health professionals where needed. It also fosters continual learning among nurses stationed far from educational resource centers.

The library’s reference materials cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • community health, epidemiology, nutrition
  • maternal and child health
  • surgery and anesthesia
  • communicable diseases, infection control, and vaccination
  • HIV/AIDS and STIs
  • education and health promotion 
  • nursing practice.

For a complete list of the resources available through the ICN Nursing Mobile Library, see the topics contained in the Contents of the ICN/Mobile Nursing Library.

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