One of the beauties of being a nurse is the multiple opportunities available not only domestically, but internationally. There are openings for non-profit work, paid work and volunteer work. Nurses who take these international options often report them to be life changing.
Some non-profit organizations require nursing staff, including paid and non-paid positions. An example of this would be working for the American Red Cross in disaster relief situations. There are positions that are long term within the company and short term positions in cases of disaster relief in events such as earthquakes, floods, fires, etc., so the opportunity is present for both paid and unpaid positions.
Companies Often Hire US Nurses for Jobs Internationally
Staffing agencies are available to provide connections, information and help with certifications and housing. Nurses living in the United States generally make more money than nurses abroad, so if the desire for travel and adventure trumps the need for a higher salary, a job outside the US is an exciting option.
The exception to this are nursing jobs in the Middle East where the pay is generally higher. The most challenging part to getting a job abroad is getting your nursing license in that country. So if you desire to work in a specific country and are serious about it, it’s best to start the process of getting a license as early as possible. The amount of nursing experience required often varies and so nursing abroad is a viable option for new nurses.
Volunteer Work Abroad
There are also multiple opportunities for volunteer work. Disaster relief organizations and religious organizations are in need of nurses who will either donate their time and pay their own way or raise the funds to go abroad for relief or mission trips.
Organizations such as “One Nurse at a Time” and “Nurses Without Borders” exist to provide opportunities for nurses who want to give back on either a local or global level.
On any level, whether paid or unpaid, there are benefits to working abroad. There is the chance to gain new clinical skills and help treat conditions not commonly found in our domestic environment. Most nurses are serious about the business of making a difference in people’s lives and health. Working overseas seems to provide ample opportunity to do so.
About the Author
Sarah Heroman is an RN, BSN who has found her niche as a school nurse in Texas. With almost 20 years of experience, Sarah is still passionate about the nursing field and enjoys mentoring and helping nurses continue to find the joy in their careers. She believes that a good nurse is able to combine the science and the art of nursing and find fulfillment in providing the best care for their patients.