Assignment:Global Nursing Opportunities
Assignment:Global Nursing Opportunities
The Course Outcome covered this week is CO5.
CO5: Discuss the implications of global nursing for healthcare delivery systems. (PO7)
Reflect on the TCN Self-Assessment you completed during Week 2, and determine if your score changed.
Perform an Internet search, and locate one Global Nursing Opportunity sponsored by a professional organization that utilizes nurses as either paid employees or volunteers. Name the organization, and include a working link. In your own words, share the organization’s mission.
Share two contributions you could make to the organization (patients served) based on your current experiences and future career aspirations based on your learning from this course.
Identify personal opportunities for improvement in providing culturally competent care.
Do you want to make a difference in global health? I’m happy to tell you that there are many opportunities available to serve internationally, especially as the world becomes more like a global village. As a professional nurse, I have found global service rewarding and fulfilling. As I write this column, images come to my mind of sitting in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan with an expectant mother suffering from thalassemia, or listening to a Mayan mother in the highlands of Guatemala in a stick-walled, corrugated roofed home talk about life with her newborn and seven other children.
As maternal/child nurses, we are all concerned about vulnerable and underserved populations and about how our healthcare colleagues with limited resources and opportunities do their work everyday. If you want to make a difference in global health, there are multiple global health opportunities for you; it’s a matter of finding a match for your clinical skills, academic credentials, personal and family limitations, time commitment, and state of health. For example,
* Seeking employment through such agencies as the American Embassy and Department of State, or the World Health Organization. The Global Health Council website has a listing of such employment opportunities (http://www.globalhealth.org).
* Providing refugee relief by working as an international refugee worker (http://www.refugeerelief.org).
* Providing disaster relief services through agencies such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (http://www.icrc.org).
* Providing cultural experiences for nursing students globally. A number of schools of nursing have international programs, and are often seeking mentors to accompany students to a variety of international settings, particularly in developing countries.
* Providing clinical mentorship in an international setting. Increasingly, the focus is on building local clinical skills through teaching programs such as neonatal resuscitation education programs that require a commitment to “training the trainer” so you can share your expertise with local nurses, midwives and physicians. Cross Cultural Solutions volunteers can match your expertise with global needs (http://www.crossculturalsolutions.org).
* Working with private, nonprofit secular or faith-based organizations such as Ixmucane, One Heart, Empowering Lives International, Doctors Without Borders, or Nazarene Compassionate Ministries. Some opportunities are as short as 10 days, and others require a commitment of at least 6 months.
* Sharing your expertise in policy and program consultation through organizations such as United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
* Partnering with academic colleagues overseas by offering to be a visiting professor, an educational consultant, or applying to become a Fulbright Scholar (http://www.cies.org/about_fulb.htm).
Whether you are accepted by an international educational and relief organization depends on your previous experience in global settings or working with vulnerable populations such as refugees and immigrants, any work you’ve done in disasters or emergencies, skills in working independently in remote circumstances, having linguistic skills, having clinical skills in maternal/child health, and being in good health. It is essential to work through established organizations to do global work rather than “dropping in,” on a disaster site-which actually could end up contributing to the chaos rather than helping!!
I encourage you to explore global opportunities (Osborn & Ohmans, 2005). Etherington (2009, p. 10), who has worked in 13 countries primarily in acute disaster and conflict settings, has said, “Going global has its risks and hardships, but they are usually outnumbered by rewards, wonders, and a profound sense of purpose. You have much to offer. Take the responsibility of a global mission seriously and savor it as one of the most important ventures of your life-as a nurse and as a citizen of the world.”