Missionary Nursing + Salary & Career Outlook icon

Missionary Nursing + Salary & Career Outlook

| NurseJournal Staff

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A missionary nurse has received specialized training in order to meet the physical and spiritual needs of patients in different countries, usually where healthcare provision is very poor. Missionary nurses will treat injuries and illnesses as well share their faith with their patients in various cultures. For a missionary nurse, faith and healing are intricately linked. Often, they will get to work in Third World countries. For a missionary nurse, the job is a calling rather than a job. Additionally, they do not only work in the field. They are also heavily involved in fund raising and awareness raising so that projects in foreign countries can continue to run. Some of the things they will campaign for include the building of schools, digging clean water wells, and improvement of job skills. They are often at the forefront of the development of new clinics and they educate the population on proper dental care and nutrition. Usually, they are largely funded by nonprofit organizations like churches.

About the Missionary Nurse Profession

In order to become a missionary nurse, students must first complete a nursing program in the US. Usually, they will obtain an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in nursing. This enables them to take the NCLEX-RN examination and if they pass they become a registered nurse (RN). The degree must be obtained through an accredited school. Some nurses obtain a diploma by working in a hospital, but this is very rare due to the changing face of nursing education. For someone who wants to become a missionary nurse, he or she is encouraged to take elective curses in fields such as international health care. Once they have passed the NCLEX-RN examination, they are licensed to work as a nurse. If they wish to work overseas as a missionary nurse, they will need to follow the regulations in the host country in order to be able to practice there. This also means that they must apply for a work visa if applicable. A missionary nurse is generally connected to a specific religious organization, and they will be assigned to a missionary/humanitarian team that is sent to the host country. In many cases, missionary nurses also take part in religious or seminary training. It is generally also recommended to learn a second or even third language. This will make it easier to work in different countries around the globe.

What Jobs Does This Lead To?

Generally speaking, missionary nurses will use their skills to work in impoverished Third World countries. Their tasks are often the same as those of a traditional nurse, including the assessment of and care for patients with illnesses and injury. They administer medication, dress wounds, deliver babies and more. However, they have to be able to do this with very limited resources, including the lack of telephone communication, electricity and, sometimes, running water. Usually, the primary goal of a missionary nurse is to prevent illnesses. As such, they often work in administering vaccinations and providing healthcare education. They often do this through field demonstrations, such as boiling water to kill bacteria or cleaning toilets. Missionary nurses also need some additional skills. They must be very flexible and adaptable, because they can be sent to different corners of the world without a moment’s notice. Additionally, they are often required to do things that other nurses wouldn’t have to do, such as erecting buildings, digging wells and more. The extent of this type of work will depend on the employer, which is usually a nonprofit organization such as a church or humanitarian group.

Salary Prospects

Missionary nurses do not usually enter their profession for the money, but rather because they see it as their calling. Indeed, many work as volunteers. However, this does vary depending on the financial strength of the organization that employs the nurse. Although the demand for nurses is very high, charitable giving has been significantly reduced, which has affected the profession.

Job Outlook for a Missionary Nurse

The job outlook for missionary nurses is very good. Impoverished countries are seeing an increase in the need for help provided by these professionals. Additionally, there has been an increase in the frequency of natural disasters, which means more help is needed in these regions. References:
  • http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm
  • https://www.ncsbn.org/nclex.htm
  • http://nursewithoutborders.org/becomin-a-missionary-nurse/

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