Have Skills, Will Travel


Perhaps you are experiencing a time of professional transition. Perhaps you are a newly initiated empty-nester. Or, perhaps you find that, after flipping to the evening news and witnessing yet another heart-wrenching scene of poverty and illness, you really mean it when you say to yourself, "I've got to do something about this."

You know when you've got it. It begins with impatient glances towards an under-exercised passport and quickly progresses to an itchy feeling that Adventure is calling your name. When the travel bug hits, it is a tough bug to shake. Maybe it's time to give in to the rewards and challenges of intercultural exploration. As a nurse, your professional expertise is a valuable ticket.

Nurses deliver the vast majority of hands-on patient care the world over. You have, if you wish, a valuable role to play. The following is an introductory list of several reputable organizations whose programs may make your dream of international nursing service come to life. The Sigma Theta Tau International website, http://www.nursing-society.org is also an extremely useful resource for international nursing information.

  • American International Health Alliance, the HIV/AIDS Twinning Center: Highly skilled medical professionals are paired with capacity-building, sustainable three-month to two-year volunteer opportunities. Positions focus on technical assistance with regard to improving the delivery of HIV/AIDS care and prevention. Expenses covered. http://www.aiha.com
  • Doctors Without Borders: Known also as Medecins Sans Frontieres, this Nobel Peace Prize winning organization works in 70 countries matching experienced, qualified medical professionals, including registered nurses, with communities in dire need direct healthcare provision. Assignments are salaried and last 6 to 12 months. Check the website http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org for recruitment open houses.
  • Global Service Corps: Volunteers sign up for service opportunities in either Tanzania or Thailand for stints beginning at two weeks duration. Volunteers pay their own way, stay with host families, and work with projects on HIV/AIDS, agriculture, or international health. http://www.globalservicecorps.org
  • Global Volunteers: For nurses who want to combine travel, vacation, and service, and have limited time off, Global Volunteers offers volunteer-ships lasting as short-term as one week. Participants pay their own way, and no specialized skills are needed. http://www.globalvolunteers.org
  • The United States Peace Corps: For over forty years the Peace Corps has been sending volunteers around the globe on two year assignments. Training, travel, healthcare, and accommodation are provided. While Peace Corps Volunteers do not directly care for patients, extensive opportunities for assignments in public health and health education are offered. http://www.peacecorps.gov
  • International Center for Equal Care Access: This non-profit organization works intensely, through professional mentorship, in HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases in African and Asia. Nurses are need for 6 to 12 week positions to mentor local nurses and provide HIV training. Expenses are paid. Stipends are offered to volunteers staying over 3 months. http://www.iceha.org

Copyright 2007- American Society of Registered Nurses (ASRN.ORG)-All Rights Reserved


Articles in this issue:


  • Masthead

    Editor-in Chief:
    Kirsten Nicole

    Editorial Staff:
    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Robyn Bowman
    Kimberly McNabb
    Lisa Gordon
    Stephanie Robinson

    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Liz Di Bernardo
    Cris Lobato
    Elisa Howard
    Susan Cramer

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