Nursing Volunteer Abroad Projects for Students & Professional Nurses
Updated for 2017
Many of you have heard of Doctors without Borders, an organization in which doctors volunteer their time to help patients in medically under-served areas around the world. But did you know that nurses are a critical component of these medical teams and that there are dozens of international volunteer organizations around the world that are in need of nurses? Even if you are currently a nursing student, you will see that there are ample international opportunities to develop your nursing skill set while helping those who regularly lack access to healthcare.
Nursing Volunteer Abroad Projects for Students & Professional Nurses
Nursing students and professionals: ready to make a real difference by volunteering abroad? Worldwide, there is an urgent need for quality healthcare and health education among impoverished, remote, and underserved populations--and that’s where you’ll step in as an overseas healthcare volunteer. By combining your skills with a desire to serve, you can build your expertise, learn about healthcare practices in different communities, and above all: help those who need it the most.
One thing that ties together many volunteer nursing programs is the clinics and hospitals you’ll work in often are understaffed and in need of assistance with basic activities and daily tasks. As a volunteer, your work may include:
Assisting with basic medical tasks such as first aid or administering vaccines
Taking vitals and building patient histories
Performing day-to-day activities such as sterilizing instruments, completing paperwork, or readying clinics for intake
Observing local medical staff to learn healthcare practices in developing countries or communities
Conducting home visits and surveys to understand the most common or priority medical needs facing the community
Educating individuals, families, and communities about hygiene, family planning, and other healthcare issues
Nursing volunteer placements usually start from two weeks, though some programs such International Volunteer HQ and Maximo Nivel offer 1 week programs. Nursing volunteer abroad projects can vary from intensive, hands-on work in a large, urban hospital to basic observation and education in a rural clinic. As a volunteer with a skills-based program like nursing, the tasks you’ll take on are dependent on your skillset and the needs of your host community.
WHO CAN GO?
Depending on the program, volunteer opportunities are open to professional nurses, to nursing students, and even to those with no healthcare background, but who’d like to learn more.
Nursing professionals can put their expertise to great use overseas through organizations like Maximo Nivel, which offers nursing placements in Latin America.
If you’re a student, internships through organizations like Volunteering Solutions can help broaden your understanding of nursing practices, plus receive credit for work completed.
And for those interested in nursing, but who don’t have background in it yet, International Volunteer HQ and other organizations offer observational placements for volunteers that would like to learn about medicine and healthcare.
READY TO GO?
Here are just eight organizations providing much-needed healthcare to medically underserved communities worldwide--read on to find the right nursing program for you!
Featured Program: Maximo Nivel
Founded in Peru in 2003, Maximo Nivel offers volunteer and intern abroad programs, TEFL certification, and Spanish language programs in Peru, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. Since its start, 25,000 travelers have taken part in Maximo Nivel’s affordable programs in Latin America. Maximo Nivel provides a variety of placements for those interested in health care and medical work, including programs for nurses and nursing students.
Maximo Nivel offers medical care and non-medical healthcare placements to volunteers who’d like to work in hospitals, clinics, assisted living facilities, and other healthcare facilities.
Healthcare projects are open to year 1 and 2 med school students, as well as pre-med, nursing, and other healthcare science students, while medical programs are open to year 3 and 4 medical school students and licensed professionals, including nurses.
Depending on your background and Spanish language level, you may shadow doctors or nurses, assist with checkups, take vitals, organize patient records, and much more. Medical programs through Maximo Nivel start at an affordable $660 for one week, and include airport pickup, project management, housing, two meals per day, a walking tour, and more. To learn more about opportunities for nursing students and professionals, visit: http://www.maximonivel.com/volunteers/medical-healthcare/
Through Maximo Nivel’s medical internship, you can visit Peru, Guatemala, or Costa Rica and help communities in need. As an intern, you’ll work for four weeks or longer in a hospital, clinic, private practice, or assisted living facility while gaining practical nursing experience by partnering with a local medical professional and learning about healthcare and medical practices in a developing nation.
Depending on your experience and qualifications, you can assist with patient consultation, check-ups, elderly care, health education, triage, and administrative assistance. To apply, you must have intermediate Spanish language ability, and you must be enrolled in a nursing program or be a licensed medical professional. Learn more about Maximo Nivel’s medical internship at: http://maximonivel.com/internships/medical
FEATURED PROGRAM: INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER HQ (IVHQ) NURSING PROJECTS
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) offers a variety of programs across 28 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. IVHQ and its volunteers work alongside local NGOs to meet needs within their communities. Programs range from one week to 24 weeks. Since its start in 2007, IVHQ has hosted over 67,000 participants and now sends over 10,000 volunteers abroad each year.
ABOUT IVHQ’s NURSING PROGRAMS
IVHQ offers projects for volunteers of varying experience levels to coordinate with host country counterparts in the medical field, or to teach healthcare practices locally. Placements include clinics or hospitals, home care, assisted living or special needs centers, and public health awareness programs, depending on the volunteer’s background and level of experience.
IVHQ’s healthcare, health education, HIV/AIDS work, and medical placements are available in Argentina, Bali, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Laos, Nepal, Peru, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zambia.
In Argentina, for example, IVHQ volunteers work alongside local professionals at small clinics in underserved communities. Volunteers in this program usually shadow local doctors as they carry out their day-to-day work, while the amount of independence within the project is determined by the volunteer’s expertise, Spanish language proficiency, program length, personality, and ability to lead.
In Nepal, volunteers may work alongside local medical professionals at a remote health clinic, assisting with daily healthcare and medical activities, as well as conducting educational presentations for community members. This project is open to students and professionals that have completed at least two years of medical or nursing school.
In Uganda, students and professionals that have completed at least two years of medical or nursing school are welcome to volunteer in clinics along with local professionals. Volunteers can assist with a variety of health services, with a large number of patients seen each day. Areas of work include general medicine, family planning, pediatrics, immunizations, HIV/AIDS, and more.
FEATURED PROGRAM: Volunteering Solutions (VolSol)
Founded in 2007, Volunteering Solutions (VolSol) provides high-quality and affordable volunteer abroad and intern abroad programs for travelers who want to give back to the wonderful communities that they visit worldwide.
With 122 different projects in 21 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the Pacific, there’s no shortage of opportunities to make a difference. Volunteering Solutions also is one of the most affordably-priced volunteer abroad organizations in the world: depending on where you go, your first week overseas starts from just $200, plus you can add on travel insurance through VolSol for only $12 per week (far less than most other insurance providers).
Right now, Volunteering Solutions is offering several hands-on, educational programs for nursing students and registered nurses, including the following four internships and volunteer placements in India, Cambodia, Thailand, and Nepal.
Based in the Palampur-Dharamsala area of India, this internship is open to students and professionals who’d like to gain experience and learn about nursing and medical practices in the region. Depending on your level of experience, you can shadow a registered nurse or even provide hands-on assistance in different areas, such as conducting rounds, assisting with basic procedures such as suturing wounds and administering vaccinations, maintaining files, and performing routine patient check-ups. You’re invited to stay two weeks or longer, with a starting fee of $550. Learn more and sign up here.
If you’ve always wanted to visit Cambodia, Volunteering Solutions also offers a wonderful internship for nursing students to gain international work experience and education in a hospital or clinic in Phnom Penh. As an intern, you’ll work under the supervision of local staff, and depending on your level of education and experience, you can assist with basic procedures, shadow doctors or nurses, conduct hospital rounds, maintain files, and help out in other day-to-day work. This internship lasts two to 24 weeks, and starts from $650. Click here to learn more and to sign up.
Another excelling internship you can sign up for right now through Volunteering Solutions invites you to Thailand, where you can shadow local medical and nursing professionals and gain practical experience and education. You can choose to intern in either Bangkok or in Chiang Mai, and depending on your background and where you’re placed, you can help with simple procedures, shadow doctors and nurses, help with daily tasks at the hospital, assist with administrative work, and more. This internship lasts two to 24 weeks and starts from $995. Learn more and apply here.
This internship invites you to work at a private or government-run hospital, or in a medical clinic, to provide care for patients in Kathmandu, Nepal. Open to pre-med, medical, and nursing students, Volunteering Solutions’ medical internship in Nepal gives you the opportunity to shadow and learn from a local medical professional and provide hands-on assistance in a variety of areas, such as administration, daily procedures, routine check-ups, and more. This internship starts from two weeks at $256, and you’re encouraged to stay up to six months to gain the most from your internship in Nepal. Click here to learn more and to apply.
FEATURED PROGRAM: LOVE VOLUNTEERS
Since 2009, Love Volunteers has provided impactful volunteer and intern abroad placements in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas, with more than 120 programs to choose from. It’s also an incredibly fast-growing volunteer organization, with more than 4,000 volunteers placed overseas in the past year. Love Volunteers’ international programs start from just $175 for your first week abroad (depending on the type of project and the location), so it’s one of the most affordable organizations that you can work with.
ABOUT LOVE VOLUNTEERS' NURSING PROGRAMS
Love Volunteers offers a variety of medical and healthcare programs worldwide, with lots of opportunity for registered nurses and for nursing students to join. Here are just a few of the many projects you may be interested in:
In India, you’re invited to sign up for Love Volunteers’ Medical Internship in Delhi, where you’ll work alongside trained nurses and other staff in a large hospital in South Delhi, and you may be able to focus on a specialty or department that will help you the most with your education and career.
In Kenya, you can help with the operation of a local drug awareness community center, which performs outreach and support to areas of the Diani Beach community where drug users may spend the most time. You’ll assist a local team with collecting and disposing of used needles, clean and dress wounds and abscesses, distributing clean needles, alcohol wipes, and other supplies, and assisting drop-in clients at the center.
Love Volunteers also invites you to Sri Lanka, where you can volunteer in a private hospital, a center for pregnant mothers, an elderly care facility, or a mental disability ward. As with the organization’s other placements for nurses, you’ll be paired with a trained staff member at your project location, and your tasks will vary depending on your experience and the needs of the volunteer location.
LOVE VOLUNTEERS NURSING VOLUNTEER REVIEW BY YEE SHEAU AI-YIN
It was a childhood dream of mine to volunteer overseas one day. I've been working as a nurse for five years. As I was bonded, I had no choice but to complete the bond first in order to achieve my dream. As I wanted to do something new and go out of my comfort zone, I chose to be involved in the Working With Children Program.
I was posted to the Ky Quang Pagoda Orphanage to help out with the care of disabled children. When I first saw the children, I felt nervous, whether I could perform well to take care of them. As the day went by, I brought them for a walk and helped to feed them. It was difficult; I took almost an hour to complete my task. And so on the second day onward, I began to understand their eating habits and learned to feed them accordingly.
Coming here to volunteer also gave me a chance to get to know fellow volunteers who came from around the world such as France, US, Canada and many more. I'm glad we shared common interest in humanity and trying to maintain it by bringing positive vibes representing our own countries. I believe that volunteering needs no verbal language to understand each other, we need but kindness and compassion to join our hearts together to lend a helping hand to make the children's life better.
A BROADER VIEW VOLUNTEERS NURSING PROJECTS
A Broader View Volunteers is the second-most reviewed program on Volunteer Forever, with nearly 70 positive reviews for this organization alone. A Broader View Volunteers arranges service programs for medical and nursing students and professionals, with placements in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia.
Projects are customized to the volunteer group’s backgrounds and needs, with some programs incorporating home visits, health education programs, HIV orphan care, special needs therapy center assistance, and clinics and hospital work. Nursing volunteers must have Spanish language ability, and can sign up for language immersion classes to augment their placement.
ABOUT A BROADER VIEW VOLUNTEERS’ NURSING PROGRAMS
In Honduras, nursing students and professionals work at a La Ceiba regional hospital. Those volunteers with more experience and training may work directly with patients in emergency care, maternity, pediatrics, HIV awareness, and more.
In Peru, nursing students and professionals may work in a local clinic, regional hospital, hospital specializing in special needs pediatrics, or a burn unit. Professional nurses especially are needed in public health, rehabilitation, and pediatrics, while nursing students may shadow local staff.
In Tanzania, nursing students and professionals may choose between placement in Arusha and Moshi. Programs here focus on public health, women’s health, midwifery, HIV support, and hospice assistance. Volunteers may work in a local clinic, hospital, hospice or nursing care center, or an orphanage for children with HIV.
A BROADER VIEW NURSING PROJECT VOLUNTEER REVIEW: LAURA
NURSING PROGRAM: TANZANIA
"This trip to Tanzania opened my eyes to a different side of the world and made me so grateful for everything I have in my life – food, clothing, shelter, family, and so much more. It has really made me not take the little things in life for granted and appreciate all that we are lucky to have in the US. Living in the area we did, gave us a true understanding of living in Tanzania. I will never forget the walks down the dirt/rock road we lived on and the adventure of taking the dala-dala to work each day, all with the beautiful view of Mt. Meru in the background. This has been an experience of a [lifetime] and I wouldn't change a single thing that happened in the trip both good or bad – because either way the memories and stories are irreplaceable.
I brought a lot of snacks with me to eat at the hospital for lunch - this was nice because the doctors and nurses rarely take breaks - you just have to be sure to hide it from them because they will want some of your food! As far as clothing, we had opportunities we couldn't ever have imagined while we were there, one of which was going to a wedding and the other swimming in the waterfalls at Kilimanjaro. Don’t be afraid to over pack because you never know what you are going to need!
After coming back from Tanzania I remember trying to think of an answer for this question because I figured it would be one I was asked a lot. I still don’t think it is possible to list a favorite memory because we have so many to choose from. Several of my favorite memories stem from handing out dum-dums to children at the hospital, on the street, or at the orphanage and seeing the smile light up on their faces - that was priceless."
PROJECTS ABROAD VOLUNTEER ABROAD NURSING PROJECTS
Projects Abroad is one of the largest volunteer abroad organizations in the world, and has more than 30 volunteer reviews on Volunteer Forever. More than 10,000 people travel overseas each year with Projects Abroad on volunteer programs and internships.
ABOUT PROJECTS ABROAD’S NURSING PROGRAMS
Projects Abroad provides internships for nurses and nursing students to work in clinics, hospitals, and community programs in Bolivia, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Peru, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Togo, and Vietnam. These nursing programs provide interns with experience and knowledge of healthcare practices in developing countries.
In Bolivia, nursing interns gain experience by working with local staff in public health clinics and through community outreach programs. Interns help with day-to-day duties and, depending on prior experience, may help with basic medical tasks such as dressing wounds. Workshops also are available to discuss healthcare practices and common medical needs faced within Bolivia, and participants may engage in health education outreach in their communities.
For the Kenya nursing internship, nursing interns work alongside staff in hospitals, health clinics, and with medical outreach programs in Nakuru. Projects Abroad works with local clinics and government hospitals, which allow interns to gain experience across a variety of departments, including general medicine, surgery, maternity, pediatrics, and laboratory assistance. Interns’ roles at the hospital or clinic are dependent on experience, and workshops are available to discuss local healthcare practices and health issues facing the country.
In Mongolia, Projects Abroad’s nursing interns work for two weeks or longer in Ulaanbaatar, gaining knowledge by observing local nurses or other medical staff during their daily work. Placements are available at a central hospital, with some smaller clinic placements and community outreach work as well. Interns shadow local medical staff and nurses, though Mongolian law does not allow interns to work directly with patients--instead, the focus for this program is on learning through observation and community outreach. Workshops covering traditional medicine, history of Mongolian healthcare, and basic procedures are available to nursing program interns.
VOLUNTEER REVIEW: WENDY LIU
MEDICAL PROGRAM, TANZANIA
Last year, I spent two months volunteering at Mwanayamala Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. There, I rotated through the different departments of the hospital, bandaging wounds, growing lab samples, observing surgeries, and conversing with doctors.
It was an incredible experience as I had the opportunity to immerse myself in a completely different culture and learn about medicine outside of America. Now, a year later, as I'm interviewing for medical school and have some perspective on my time in Dar es Salaam, I've realized how life-changing it was. Volunteering with Projects Abroad helped me become comfortable with travel abroad and helped me discover my passion for service and for public health.
Although Projects Abroad is pricy, the memories I gained and the friendships I've formed, not only with other volunteers, but also with the doctors at the hospital, are priceless.
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE LEARNING (ISL) NURSING PROJECTS
International Service Learning (ISL) currently holds a five-star rating on Volunteer Forever, and strives to enhance learning through service experience while providing healthcare and other services in developing communities.
ISL offers practical experience through pre-health, dental, medical, nursing, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, public health, and veterinary programs. Placements are available to volunteers that would like to gain experience in the health care or medical field while exploring another culture and providing service to those in need.
ABOUT ISL’s NURSING PROGRAMS
Nursing teams coordinate with local community organizations to provide healthcare and public health education to underserved populations. This program was created to provide nurses and nursing students with cultural competency in a diverse setting while providing hands-on service.
ISL’s nursing teams may assist with the following:
Conducting in-home health surveys to determine which medical services are most needed within the community.
Inviting individuals in need of care to a local clinic where they can get medical assistance from a licensed professional.
Rotating through patient care at the field clinic, including intake, triage, examination, diagnosis, treatment, and pharmacy.
In Belize, nursing volunteers will deliver medical supplies and provide healthcare services to communities in need.
In Mexico, ISL works in partnership with global health agencies, local health ministries, and other NGOs to serve impoverished and underserved populations in Puerto Peñasco. Nursing volunteers assist in local clinics and in institutional and community health programs.
FUNDRAISING SUCCESS STORY: KENDRA WOLD
As of this writing, Kendra Wold has raised $3,620 of her $4,000 goal to volunteer in Peru with ISL’s nursing program there. An aspiring medical missionary, she has fundraised almost entirely through social media and email, with an average of two Facebook posts each week. Kendra also has used her blog at Volunteer Forever, and filled out her profile completely.
On the most important things she did to contribute to her fundraising success:
Being consistent on Facebook was [super important]. Posting pictures with my posts grabbed people's attention. Also, consistently telling them how much you still need shows people the need and when it starts coming in fast, it becomes contagious and people just are compelled to give because they see others believe in you too.
FUNDRAISING SUCCESS STORY: BRANDI SOLOMON
Also an ISL volunteer, Brandi Solomon raised more than her $2,000 goal--by the end of her campaign, her friends and family contributed $2,230!
For the past three years, Brandi has conducted toy drives for children and families, and this year she decided to give her time and nursing experience to a community in Costa Rica. Through her volunteer program with ISL, Brandi will provide healthcare services to impoverished families without insurance or access to reliable medical attention.
ISL NURSING PROJECT VOLUNTEER REVIEW: KIRANNURSING PROGRAM, NICARAGUA
ISL provided me my first experience with humanitarian work abroad and I was immersed into the culture/people. It was much more than I had expected. It was hand-on experience, working one-on-one with patients and within small groups - I learned to assess and diagnose under Dr. Conarado (team leader) using solely signs and symptoms - only 20% of the time do they use diagnostic procedures to diagnose.
Where I come from, we rely heavily on technology and diagnostic procedures. It was a great experience to work in an environment without technology. You will assess and learn using basic knowledge and techniques. The program facilitates critically thinking and you will become confident and independent.
FYI: individuals in Nicaragua choose to become a physician merely due to their passion to serve the people. It surprises me that a doctor is not well paid and it isn't as prestigious to be a doctor as it is in Canada/USA. They work around the clock and are required to have several positions. The doctors are too amazing/very inspiring - words cannot even describe all they do.
Furthermore, the individuals I met on my team during this trip were unbelievable. 14 students, 14 days together…we became family. I actually felt like I had known them for ages. The experiences that you will share with your group will be very unique. Saying good-bye and leaving the country was very difficult.
ISL staff is incredible (e.g. translators, team leader, [physicians], coordinators etc...). They plan wicked activities such as, volcano tours, ziplining, Apoyo Lagoon. Travel, serve and enjoy!! I stayed an extra week, backpacking in Nicaragua, and they made sure that I was set and safe. They go out of their way for you. Very humble <3
I highly recommend the program!! It will help you grow as an individual, open your eyes to a whole new world. Guaranteed that your experience will be an unforgettable one.
UNITED PLANET NURSING ABROAD PROJECTS
United Planet connects volunteers with communities in 35 countries, where they learn, teach, work, engage, and immerse themselves in a culture outside their comfort zone.
ABOUT UNITED PLANET’S NURSING PROGRAMS
United Planet offers hospital and healthcare clinic placements for doctors, nurses, and medical, nursing, and pre-med students. Programs are available for nurses in Ghana, Ecuador, Peru, and Tanzania, where they may help local clinic staff with minor procedures and daily tasks.
In Ghana, nursing volunteers work at either a teaching hospital in Ho or at a community health center in Putubiw. Volunteers mainly observe local staff through this program, though depending on background experience, may have the opportunity to perform basic medical assistance like dressing wounds and checking vitals.
In Peru, volunteers are placed with health clinics, state and private hospitals, psychiatric clinics, and a center for mentally and physically disabled children in Cusco. Volunteers primarily observe local professionals on this program, but depending on experience, may have the opportunity to assist with basic medical tasks. On United Planet Peru’s Healthcare Quest program, volunteers may assist with first aid, paperwork, hygiene education, taking vitals, and more.
In Ecuador, nursing volunteers may work in a state-run hospital in Quito to assist with their work in primary care and emergency medicine for women. The Healthcare Quest program also provides volunteers with the opportunity to visit a traditional medicine clinic in an indigenous village outside of the capital. Specific projects assigned to nursing volunteers vary depending on background and expertise, though the main focus of this program is observation.
VIDA NURSING ABROAD VOLUNTEER PROJECTS
VIDA Volunteer Travel places volunteers alongside local healthcare professionals worldwide to give free medical, dental, and veterinary care to communities in need. Many of Vida’s volunteers are pre-health professionals, though they also welcome advanced students and professionals. Vida currently has a five-star rating from volunteer reviewers on Volunteer Forever.
ABOUT VIDA’S NURSING PROGRAMS
Vida’s medical program invites pre-med, medical, and nursing students--as well as other volunteers interested in medicine--to work with underserved communities throughout Central America. Vida offers public health screenings, free medical care, free medications, and health education. This program teaches volunteers to provide medical care in low-income areas, and educates participants in the difference between U.S. and Latin American healthcare services through one-on-one, hands-on work with local medical staff.
According to Vida’s website, hands-on work can include:
First-hand experience in Latin American healthcare systems compared to those in the United States.
Conducting patient interviews and building patient histories.
Taking vital signs.
Observing procedures conducted by local medical staff, including ENT examination, prenatal care, vaccinations, and more.
Presenting patient information to medical staff for differential diagnosis and proposed treatment.
Conducting public health screenings and health discussions.
VOLUNTEER REVIEW: ERICA MILLER
MEDICAL PROGRAM, COSTA RICA, NICARAGUA, GUATEMALA
"I cannot say enough good words about my experiences with VIDA! I participated on two trips with VIDA- one to Costa Rica and Nicaragua and more recently my trip to Guatemala. Both trips were beyond amazing and I learned SO much!
VIDA is a perfect opportunity for anyone who is interested in the medical field and does not require any previous knowledge related to medicine- they teach you everything you need to know! Both of my trips were two weeks long and consisted of six clinical days. On those days, students worked together with a few other students and a translator to interview the patients, [assess] vital signs and listen to heart and lung sounds. Then we presented the information to the doctors who helped us determine the correct diagnosis and treatment.
The medical and monetary donations we brought as a group stocked our "pharmacy" so that we could provide much needed medical help to our patients at no cost to them. While most students know little the first few clinical days, it's amazing how much everyone learns and knows by the last few clinical days thanks to the awesome doctors and their wonderful teaching!! The doctors and staff are incredible and are truly dedicated to the volunteers.
We weren't deserted after our clinical days- rather most doctors and translators would hang out with us at the hotel, go out to dinner, walk around town etc. which helped the entire group become really close with each other and the staff. To this day, I still keep in contact with staff members from my first VIDA trip two years ago!
I also really appreciated how we had non-clinical days dedicated to exploring the culture we were immersed in- something I think is essential to better understand the patient population we were working with. Without hesitation, I would recommend VIDA to anyone interested in healthcare! It clearly benefits the volunteers immensely, and more importantly provides much needed healthcare to impoverished communities. Thanks VIDA!"
WORK THE WORLD NURSING ABROAD PROJECTS
Work the World offers dedicated global health internships and rotations to undergraduate students and college students who want to gain important practical experience, help supply medical assistance to those living in underprivileged areas, and gain an in-depth understanding of how basic healthcare can be delivered with extremely limited resources.
Through Work the World’s programs in Africa, Asia, and South America, participants can engage in international medical internships, elective rotations, and volunteer opportunities for students seeking valuable working experience.
ABOUT WORK THE WORLD’S NURSING PROGRAMS
Work the World’s nursing interns assist in clinics visited by patients with critically advanced diseases and pathologies; the goal with this program is to gain an understanding of how these diseases progress and how to treat them. Internships are available in Ghana, Mauritius, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. All internships are tailored to the participant’s individual background and requirements, with most nursing interns focusing on pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, and emergency medicine.
The basic internship program also can be extended to include:
Village Healthcare Experience: Nursing interns assist in patient assessment and learn traditional healthcare practices in rural villages in Ghana, Nepal, the Philippines, or Tanzania.
In Sri Lanka, nursing interns are tasked with helping combat rare diseases and assist with general medicine, surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, orthopedics, psychiatry, cardiology, oncology, neurosurgery, and emergency and trauma. Interns also may participate in the Ayurvedic Medicine Experience, where they may work with an Ayurvedic doctor in a rural Sri Lankan village.
In the Philippines, interns may assist in a large hospital or through community outreach and education programs in Iloilo. A smaller hospital placement and community education programs also are available in Dumaguete. In addition to the basic nursing internship, participants may take part in the Village Healthcare Experience, assisting with patient assessment and learning traditional healthcare practices in a rural village.
In Mauritius, nursing internships can include adult nursing, pediatric nursing, mental health nursing, or a combination, depending on the participant’s background and interest.
FUNDRAISING SUCCESS STORY: SANAM AMIRI
Last year, Sanam Amiri raised more than $3,000 for her nursing project with Work the World at the Amana Regional Referral Hospital in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
She began her fundraising campaign by emailing her close friends and family to tell them about her trip--it was throughout these two weeks that she was able to fundraise the most. Later, she shared her profile on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, making sure to only update a few times to avoid spamming her network.
Sanam’s advice to other fundraisers:
I think it's really important to constantly think of new ways to share your story and spread awareness! Talk to your school, classmates and friends and find fun ways to fundraise together! I am holding a fundraiser in a few months with all of my friends and think it'll be the best way to raise some money, bring awareness about mental health and have fun with friends! It's also really important to stay positive and be confident in your campaign! It can be easy to get discouraged and feel like you won't reach your goal but continue to be optimistic!! It's the best way to successful reach your target goal :)
TO SUM IT UP
As you can see, nursing programs abroad can be excellent opportunities to expand your skill sets—no matter where you are in your nursing career—to travel the world, and to serve those individuals and families that otherwise might not have reliable medical care. From observation, to direct care, to education, there’s no shortage of nursing programs worldwide to choose from.
Ready to go? Create a profile, find the perfect program for you, and start fundraising for your experience abroad! Big heart, but little wallet? Check out our list of affordable volunteer placements around the world!
P.S. If you're still looking for a volunteer opportunity, check out our list of best volunteer abroad programs and recommended volunteer projects in Africa, Central America, and Thailand. You can also read about 7 Great Medical and Veterinary Volunteer Abroad Projects, 10 Dental Volunteer Abroad Program and Medical Mission Tips for Pre Dental Students, and nursing volunteer abroad projects for students and nurse professionals. Or, if medical volunteer projects aren't for you, be sure to read about our sports and coaching volunteer abroad, wildlife conservation and veterinary abroad, teach abroad, and intern abroad programs. Lastly, if you're under 18, you may be interested in a teen volunteer abroad program from one of our many great partners.
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