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U.S. Peace Corps Nurses

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egmiller egmiller (New) New

I am a nursing graduate currently serving as a health extension agent for the U.S. Peace Corps in Cambodia. I am due to end my service in five short months and am curious as to how the nursing community with accept me? Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thank you.

babyNP., APRN

Specializes in NICU. Has 13 years experience.

One of my friends worked in a bonafide health clinic in China for about a year after graduation. The experience was not counted at all when he applied for nursing jobs back in the states. I would expect that they would tell you that you are still considered a new grad. The health care system in third world countries is so different than the US, as you know.

Well, that's disappointing but expected. That's awesome about your friends time in China even if it wasn't regarded as "real" nursing experience. International nursing has offered me valuable perspective on health seeking behaviors and has forever widened my understanding of the human spectrum, something that a competitor without similar exposure could ever understand. I'm hoping that nursing employers still place value and emphasis on the "soft skills" as much as they do the monkey see, monkey do skills. Thank you for your response.

babyNP., APRN

Specializes in NICU. Has 13 years experience.

Right, but unless you are going into clinic nursing, I highly doubt you'd be able to hit the ground running on a med-surg floor. Do you routinely place IVs, NGTs, foleys, give a variety of different medications, dressing changes, glucose checks, titrate insulin drips, etc etc? It's a matter of cost to them. Why should they pay you more money as an experienced nurse when you would need the same amount of orientation as a new nurse? Sure you're probably more mature, but there are many nurses that are going into nursing as a second degree and have high levels of professionalism too. Best of luck to you...my sister is doing the Peace Corps in Morocco. She likes it, but she's in PR/journalism and has written articles for the magazine.

Egmiller,

I sorry I can't offer you too much information about beginning a career back in the states but I do know that where I live in Lowell Massachusetts there is an extremely large population of Cambodians and a few magnet hospitals with great new grad programs, they may take your experience working with Cambodian populations as an advantage...but I do have question for you about your experience with the peace corps if you don't mind me asking, what was your role serving as health extension? Did you get to use any nursing skills? From what I gather it seems that only nurse midwives is the only nursing role in the peace corps. I really appreciate the insight and good luck with your transition back to the states!

Good luck in your job search. I would love to hear more about your experience in the Peace Corp. Are you working as a nurse for them?