Peace Corps and Nursing?

  1. Has anyone ever joined the Peace Corps? This is something that I am 99% sure I want to do, I have been wanting to do this ever since I can remember and part of the reason I want to do nursing. I have a huge passion for volunteering and I would love to do this. I would have to devote over 2 years being overseas and it could be anywhere so I am worried about how this would look on a resume. Obviously I would say I was in (name of country here) with the Peace Corps, but I am worried how they would look at this on a resume. I wouldn't be practicing nursing in a hospital setting at all, and it would be VERY different. I am afraid that even after a nursing refresher course I would have trouble finding a job. I don't want to be completely lost once I find a job because it has been so long since I learned this stuff! My plan would be to graduate (4 years, I'm a freshman nursing major) then take the NCLEX, and leave after I am an RN. Would it be recommended that I work in a hospital setting for a while before leaving, or would it not even be a problem? Anyone who has actually done this it would be so helpful for a PM or a reply, but if anyone else has any advice at all I would be so grateful Like I said I have 4 years, which is a lot of time to think it over, but it goes quickly! Thank you all!
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Multicollinearity
    Have you thought of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières? You could volunteer as a nurse and do actual nursing work. So your nursing skills wouldn't atrophy.

    Where ever you volunteer - Peace Corps or otherwise, nobody is going to take you without at least a year of hospital nursing experience. These volunteer organizations need experienced people who can hit the ground running without alot of resources or help.
  4. by   slou!
    Quote from multicollinarity
    Have you thought of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières? You could volunteer as a nurse and do actual nursing work. So your nursing skills wouldn't atrophy.

    Where ever you volunteer - Peace Corps or otherwise, nobody is going to take you without at least a year of hospital nursing experience. These volunteer organizations need someone who can hit the ground running without alot of resources or help.
    Thank you for your quick reply! I have not heard of that, but I will look into it, thanks!

    I was under the impression from the PC website that you just needed a 4 year degree, and no experience in your field. I will be using the skills I learned in school with nursing, but not doing the type of nursing I would be doing in a hospital setting. On the website it says to be accepted you need a 4 year degree (MOST of the time!) and volunteer experience. I could be wrong though, it wouldn't be the first time Thanks again!
  5. by   Multicollinearity
    What I meant is that if you are volunteering in a capacity that uses your nursing skills you need at least one year of experience. I'd check into Doctors Without Borders! You'd have an unbelievable experience practicing nursing without the rules and regs here in the states.
  6. by   LiveZen
    I am a sophomore prenursing student, and I am seriously considering peace corps also. My understanding is that Peace Corps will take you straight out of school, since they're going to train you for your project anyway. The type of medicine we'll do in our countries is going to be obviously different from what we'll see, even in hospitals here. I think they just want you to have your nursing degree. If someone has confirmed information that contradicts what I've said, please let me know. This is just the information I understand to be true.
  7. by   LilRedRN1973
    One of my nursing classmates left right after passing the NCLEX to do a volunteer nursing position over in Africa or South America (I can't remember which one). I remember her saying she would be doing that for 2 years before returning to the states. So she left right after school without any experience.

    Melanie = )
  8. by   Aussie_Amy
    I'm a 2nd year student and I really want to volunteer with MSF (Doctors without Borders) when I have enough experience under my belt. That's something I have always wanted to do - if you go to www.doctorswithoutborders.org there is a heap more info there.. Good luck!
  9. by   slou!
    Thank you all for your replies!

    My only concern would be coming back to nursing after never really practicing it in a hospital setting, in the Peace Corps. Would that be a problem, and would a nurse refresher course be enough since I never really did it to begin with?

    Thanks also about all the info about MSF, also. I had never heard of it before and I've been checking it out!
  10. by   LiveZen
    Seems to me like just going through the hospital orientation process should be enough, especially since you will be using your medical skills wherever you end up. It's exciting to see there's someone else on this board who's pumped about Peace Corps too. I gradute in 2009, and I'll probably leave for PC right after I get done with school.
  11. by   LiveZen
    Just found out something about student loans in relation to the Peace Corps. Loans through private lenders (non-federal) such as a bank, are NOT eligible for deferment while in service. This means regular payments would be expected beginning 6 months after graduation. Because of this, it's looking like Peace Corps may not be happening for me....
  12. by   bigmona

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