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Anyone done humanitarian nursing work?

I am sure there is a lot of need in the cities of Canada and the US and other developed countries so nursing is humanitarian wherever you are, but I am thinking of working with an NGO in a developing country, possibly a conflict zone.

Has anyone here ever had experience working as a nurse in the developing world? What was it like? What did you do there? How did you get a position? When you came back to your country (if it was Canada or USA) did local hospitals hire you?


i have known many nurses who did humanitarian work on a short term like 2 to 4 wks or long term

some of these got loan forgiveness by working in clinics in depressed parts of the larger cities

some of these organizations are church related and some were not..the doctors/nurses w/o borders does a lot of work over seas

i know that the need in Haiti is great

when you get to travel and see parts of the world that you never knew exsisted you will benefit so much and you will plant seeds about your homeland


Has 43 years experience. Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

One of my colleagues is in Haiti right now... He's been to South America 4 times and was most concerned about this 2 wk volunteer trip due to American sentiment there. He comes back reneewed and refreshed from each visit and is wonderful patient advocate.

FireStarterRN, BSN, RN

Has 15 years experience. Specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele.

I know some nurses that participated on mission work to Africa as nurses. They loved it because they got to help people, see the world, and experience nursing that was not bogged down with all the paperwork and ridiculous charting that we are forced to contend with here in The States.

That's one thing they all mentioned, the joy of nursing without much charting to very appreciative people.

For the nurses who do humanitarian work, do they usually go for 2 weeks during their break?

Has anyone that you know of or heard of went overseas for a year or more?

Thanks and take care.


BTW another question that just popped into my mind, how much vacation time a year is there for 1st year nurses? 2 weeks?

Although I will be leaving teaching to enter nursing, I guess one of the things I'll look back on perhaps longingly will be the 2 months and all holidays off.

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