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?