Nursing around the world

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There’s one thing some other nursing schools have that mine doesn’t have, and that’s a study abroad program. I’m not sure how many schools out there grant students this type of opportunity, but I know there is at least one in my community. What an incredible opportunity, to go to an impoverished country and be able to put our nursing skills to use helping out with vaccinations and health check ups.

Practicing nursing in another country is something that has always crossed my mind. Although not easy, and I am sure both physically and emotionally demanding, I can’t help but think it would be incredibly rewarding. There’s another part of me that is too afraid to want to cross oceans, be separated from family, and fully put myself out there. But how incredible it would be to get that chance, with school, to get a taste of nursing in other parts of the world, to see the basic essentials of health care – where it’s needed in the simplest and yet most complicated of ways.

The study abroad programs I’ve heard about are in place of the “community nursing” classes. I enjoyed community nursing, and am learning a lot in public health. I’ve come to appreciate so much more about what it takes to keep a community healthy and help them to thrive. Studying abroad in a third world country might show us the ins and outs of the basic functions and needs of the community structure, and the incredible role that health care can play in its composition.

Our nursing schools offer so much to us, but a chance to study abroad would be a cherry on top. I’m sure there are so many reasons that stand in the way of all schools giving us this opportunity, and they’re rightfully understandable. Maybe there is some other way that I will get my chance to work on another continent somewhere. I’ll put it on my “things to do in my lifetime” list, but until then – is there anyone out there with stories of a study-abroad nursing experience?

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Ani Burr, RN

I'm a brand new, full-fledged, fresh-out-of-school RN! And better yet, I landed the job of my dreams working with children. I love what I do, and while everyday on the job is a new (and sometimes scary) experience, I'm taking it all in - absorbing everything I can about this amazing profession we all fell in love with.

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2 Responses to Nursing around the world

  1. Taro

    My uni has a study abroad program for the best nursing students to visit Vietnam for free and do work experience there. They really enjoyed it even though it was really poorly maintained and badly equipped in some hospitals. They come back realising how lucky first world countries and truly started appreciating the technology here. It was kind of funny too because they were really happy to be back. Most worked harder at the end their degrees too either because they didn”t want to end up in some poor hospital or realised they should be better nurses with so many more opportunities here.

  2. I really wish my nursing program would have offered an option to study abroad. I would have scrimped and save and begged for the funds to participate.
    I believe that nurses who participate gain a new appreciation for the art of nursing, especially since they often do not have many of the modern medical luxuries that we are accustomed to.