Opportunities in Nursing Abroad


Hello everyone,

This is my first post here, apologies if it's in the wrong place!

I was wanting to know if anyone had advise as far as aspiring to work abroad or in culturally diverse populations as a nurse.

To give some background on myself, I graduated as a double major in Psychology and International Relations in 2012. After doing so, I spent two years abroad teaching in Japan. Despite loving it (and missing it dearly), I chose to come back in order to further my education, with the intent of becoming a clinical psychologist with an emphasis in cultural psych. However, this year's rounds of applications have led me to reconsider this route: the job market is pretty bad right now and acceptance rates to funded PhD programs are at an all-time low. Most importantly however is the fact that, despite liking research, I more-so desire a position in which I'm involved in direct patient care. Coming from a nursing family, I know that becoming an RN is a great route for this. However, the one uncertainty which I find crucial to being happy with my work is the desire to be in a workplace which emulates that of the one I had in Japan: diverse individuals from a variety of different cultures working towards a common goal with equally as diverse clients. With this in mind, does anyone have any advice they could offer me? I've found Trans-Cultural Nursing to be very attractive, but beyond the certification and interesting journals I've read I'm not sure how it translates into the real world.

Thank you for the help!

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

2,776 Posts

Specializes in school nurse. Has 31 years experience.

Not sure about foreign countries licensing US nurses, but you could always go the military route and avoid that issue...

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

If you want to work in another nation - with that population rather than a community of American Expats - you'd have to meet all the license & practice requirement of that nation. Although I believe that the EU has pretty much standardized to facilitate nursing mobility, that process is limited to EU member nations. HERE is a nice summary/comparison of pre-licensure nursing educational requirements & a list of resources for English-speaking countries. Of course, you'd also need to be fluent in the local language in order to actually practice nursing in that locale - that's a requirement to obtain licensure.

In a recent conversation with a colleague who (I believe) is well-informed, he indicated that US military hospitals employ 'civilian' nurses in many locations around the world. I suppose it would be via some type of civil service agreement similar to the VA. You may want to investigate that as well.

Best of luck on your career decision.


2 Posts

Thank you so much for that link! It helped tremendously.