The future of nursing is international – well, at least that’s what Gary Fanger, founder and owner of an international travel nurse company, said. One of the best experiences in life is being able to do what you love while seeing the world. If you’re in the medical field, there are endless opportunities for you. Other countries need doctors and nurses with our expertise to help their people. In third-world countries, professional and experienced nurses are in high demand.
Many nurses who studied abroad are coming to the United States for better opportunities and higher pay. Unfortunately, nurses don’t make as much money or have as many benefits in other countries. However, many American choose the international nursing route for the excitement and adventure – even if it means a cut in pay.
Those men and women who travel abroad to serve other countries are passionate about helping those who don’t have access to remarkable healthcare like we do. Being an international nurse isn’t easy, but it is incredibly rewarding. Here’s what you should consider if you are thinking about becoming a nurse abroad:
What Do I Need?
The first step to becoming a nurse is going to college and getting an ASN (Associate of Science in Nursing) or a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). The next step is to study hard and pass the National Council Licensing Exam (NCLEX-RN).
As it is with any industry, you don’t usually land your dream job right out of college – you need real-world experience. In order for international hospitals to hire you, they need to know you are qualified. Get some work experience to put on your resume, and get certifications that can benefit you.
Some countries have advanced medical practices, and they are going to want someone who can communicate effectively with their patients. You can always search for jobs in countries that speak primarily English, but you shouldn’t limit yourself.
Some hospitals may provide you with a translator or might even offer you language classes. Don’t go in with a blank spreadsheet of their language. For starters, try to learn conversational expressions and a list of common medical terms. If you will be working in a country that speaks a different language, you start learning the language.
Even though English is becoming a worldwide language, poorer countries tend to speak their native language. Do a little bit of research about the language barrier while you are searching for jobs.
The Application Process
The healthcare industry has a lot of sources that can help job-seekers find jobs. Try looking for different recruiting businesses, like Ascend National, who can help nurses find work abroad. These recruitment sites do more than just help you land a job or an interview; They can also help you find things you will need – like banking institutions, housing, etc. – which will most likely have a different process than the ones you are familiar with in the U.S.
Once you have found your job overseas, you will need a visa. Most of the time, the hospital you will be working with will assist you in the process and sometimes cover the fees. Visas can sometimes take months to process, so don’t quit your job just yet.
You will most likely also be required to have proof that you are licensed. Depending on which country you will be working in, you may have to contact a separate registration authority that works primarily with nurses. This is more common in countries like Canada and the United Kingdom than in developing nations. For example, if you would like to practice nursing in the U.K., you would be required to apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for a British nursing license.
The opportunities for a nurse abroad are endless: care for patients all over the world, take medical histories, administer medications and treatments, and educate patients on their health conditions.
Being an international nurse will provide you with experience working with different patients in different cultures. You will be exposed to new medical treatments and procedures and will learn more than you imagined you would. In the end, you will be able to communicate better with all kinds of patients than you ever before. If you’re considering nursing overseas, do your research, reach out to other international nurses, and be adventurous! The time to start is now.
Contact Ascend National Healthcare Staffing
Formerly known as Texas PRN, Ascend National helps anyone and everyone in the healthcare industry find a workplace that fits their wants and needs. We don’t just stop there. Anyone can find a job, but there’s no promise they will enjoy the workplace. Ascend will make sure that you will be working in an environment you will enjoy. Get started on your international journey, today!