Nurse Practitioners and Global Health

  1. Greetings,

    I am trying to determine the role of the NP - if any - in developing country settings. I am a current BSN student with a background in international public health. I am interested in global nurse education and community health nursing, but have no desire to serve in a managerial position. The pursuit of an FNP appeals to me, however I have heard that it may be unnecessary if I wish to pursue global nursing. I understand that expat nurses often do not engage in direct patient care, though I have also heard that NPs serve a role in some humanitarian assistance organizations such as MSF. What are the advantages to obtaining an FNP if one intends to work overseas? Is an MPH/RN sufficient? Any insights would be greatly appreciated...
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    About lempirablue

    Joined: Jan '11; Posts: 1


  3. by   zenman
    I've run into USA NP's in other countries, mostly working at US embassies or for healthcare organizations. Other countries also have their own NP's. I've also seen lot's of MPH people working at foreign hospitals. FNP would be very valuable as you would need to see all age ranges.
  4. by   Christen, ANP
    The two roles are kinda different - one prescribes, one doesn't. I'd think about which role do you want to be in. One where you are a healthcare provider, making diagnoses / ordering meds / etc, or one where you're a public health provider, which I'm not sure what they do LOL. You also should consider if your role is recognized in the area you want to go to. I don't think all countries recognize the NP as an HCP, though if you're in a poorly served area that won't be a problem. You just want to be covered legally!
  5. by   EliseM
    I have been having a similar debate. From what I have gathered, it really depends on what you want your role to be and what kind of organization you want to work for. For MSF and other emergency medical aid organizations, your degree in nursing will be great (need those mandatory 2 years acute care experience though to apply). An NP title will vary with respect to your role in the organization, but you will have that mighty ability to prescribe and diagnose, if you think that is something you'd prefer.
    Because you mentioned community health, a BSN will get that for you (most programs include a public health certificate which enables you to work in public health-doy). My goal is to work abroad in a developmental aid sort of role. I want to work with the populations long term to improve things and thus am seeking a public health position now (just out of school) before I venture out and about.
    Anywho. Keep researching and keep going back to the root of what you want your work to be like. You'll get there
  6. by   slf974
    I am currently pursuing my FNP and intend to work abroad after I graduate. Do you all have any other suggestions about NGOs and other organizations that hire FNPs?
  7. by   zenman
    You can try US Embassies if you have a few years experience.
  8. by   ktliz
    This was brought up in a thread on the CNM forum recently, and I asked ibambamama to share her experiences. Pretty interesting stuff! Discussion about global health starts at reply #7:

    SUNY Downstate-Midwifery: Anti-Nursing?
  9. by   syzygyetic
    ktliz, I just got back from peacecorps, and I recommend it! Its impossible to explain the experience without using cliches but if you're looking at doing international work, its an amazing introduction. I had originally wanted to study MPH, but after speaking with friends working in public health who expressed frustrations of feeling helpless when in the field (surveying ill people without actually being able to clinically assist). does anyone here know of any NP programs which are global/public health friendly? Im looking at doing direct entry cause I want to get school out of the way and get on with it! Or are the direct entry programs so condensed that they don't have space for MPH coursework? Thanks everyone!
  10. by   timkru
    While I would like to give you more information on the subject, there are various roles of advanced practice nurses throughout the world. I cannot give you the link to my blog (because Allnurses erases messages when personal blogs are referenced on this site), I can tell you there are various roles of nurse practitioners throughout the world outside of working in embassies!

    I want to applaud your desire to work internationally with those who need it the most! Good luck!
  11. by   jdUCLA
    Hi, I am about 25 days away from starting nursing school at UCLA.

    My only goal in life is to work in the developing world in a healthcare setting where I am reaching as many people as possible and being as practical as possible with the aid I deliver. As my school start days comes closer, I am finally having second thoughts about continuing with the program. I want to eventually beocome a nurse practioner but my main concerns come from the idea that my degree as an NP will not be well recognized in many places in the developing world.

    I am confident that I could make it through med school if I chose to but I could also begin work much sooner if I become a nurse. My question to everyone who reads this is "Do you think I should become an MD or an NP if I want to be able to have the greatest impact in the developing world." Please only answer if you believe you are qualified to.

    Thank you so much.

    - a very stressed out student