Volunteer abroad after graduation?

  1. Hi everyone,

    I have a situation to pose and will appreciate any advice/insight.

    I am a senior and will graduate with my BSN in May. I have been researching volunteer opportunities abroad and have found the perfect program. Here is my ideal plan: graduate in May, take (and pass) NCLEX in late June, leave July 1, return 2nd week of August. However, I'm stuck trying to figure out how this trip will fit in with job start dates. The tricky part is that I will need to commit to this trip by November to secure my spot.

    -If I travel until mid-August, how do you anticipate this will affect me starting a job?
    -When do graduate nurse residencies typically start?
    -If a residency started before my return mid-August, would this affect my employment?
    -Would you suggest telling a potential employer up front (on the application) the date I could start?

    I guess I'm just looking for some guidance on the issue. I feel like this is a once in a lifetime opportunty; I will likely return to school and never again have 6 weeks to pack up and leave the country. But I don't want to think I chose a volunteer trip over a job. I hope through reading your answers that it turns out I won't have to choose.

    Thanks for your help!
    Last edit by pineapplecat on Sep 21, '11 : Reason: Type error (changed "and" to "any")
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    About pineapplecat

    Joined: Sep '11; Posts: 1


  3. by   Angelrina,CCRN
    That seems like quite a dilemma. I'm all for opportunities of a lifetime. I would definitely go abroad if I were you. Unfortunately, if you are out of the country when a nurse residency program starts, you will miss that opportunity. But, most hospitals run many rotations. My hospital started their summer fellowship program on July 25. I missed that because I took my nclex that same date. However, the next rotation starts October 10 and I have secured that position! On the bright side, imagine how stellar that is going to look on your resume!! That is going to make for a great story in your interviews!! I'd say definitely go and try to land a residency program for their Fall rotations.
  4. by   Hey_everyone
    You should definitely go for it. I graduated in May 2011 and still haven't found a job! So all that time I could have spent doing something meaningful like you want to, but I had no idea how hard it would be to find a job.

    A lot of hospitals have fall residency programs that start in September or October. You have to apply for them anywhere from June to August, it just depends on the hospital. I would suggest doing a search of any and every hospital in your area or near it around April or the time you graduate so you will know what you need to get together to apply for those jobs. You can probably interview for a lot of them when you get back in August.

    I think it will probably give you something interesting to talk about in your interviews and it is not too late to start a new grad position in the fall, if you're lucky enough to get one!

    What program did you find that will let you volunteer as a new grad? Is it health care related?

    Good luck!
  5. by   NurseinNY

    Can I ask you what programs you found that you liked?