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Nursing Careers: A Nursing Career Overseas

 by Greg Cryns

            Many people go into nursing to work in their hometown or another US city.  But you should know that nurses trained in the United States can work all over the world and have exciting careers overseas. Just as the United States is experiencing a nursing shortage, many countries around the world are suffering 

from a lack of trained medical professionals.  Many of these countries don’t have the capacity to train the number of nurses they need, which is the case for developing countries. 


            In more industrialized countries, there is still a nursing shortage similar to the one in the United States.  This means that there are many wonderful countries in which you can enjoy a career in nursing.  And because the training in the United States is widely accepted by most other medical systems, you may not even have to take more coursework or another exam to find employment.


            Whether you like the idea of working in an area with impoverished people who need your help or you’d just like to experience living in a European city, nursing overseas can open up a world of opportunity for you.  However, there are a few things you’ll need to do before you pack your bags.


            One of the easiest ways to become a nurse overseas is to work with an international organization that helps take trained medical professionals to places where they’re needed.  For example, the Red Cross often sends nurses to areas where disasters have occurred and extra help is needed.


            Health Volunteers Overseas is another organization that will send nurses to countries around the world where they’re needed.  In some cases nurses are paid employees and in other cases nurses are sent as volunteers.  The advantage of working with an agency is that they can provide you with all the necessary assistance for documentation such as visas and professional licenses.


            If you’re interested in going it on your own, you’ll need to contact the government of the country that appeals to you or the local nursing association in that area.  By doing this you can find out what the legal requirements will be for you to work there.  For example, do you need a work visa?  Do you need to have specific immunizations? 


            In addition, you need to find out if your nursing license will transfer to another country’s system.  In many cases you only have to provide proof of your education through transcripts and copies of your license.  Once you can prove that you have valid training and experience, many countries will grant you the opportunity to work.  In some cases you may need to take examinations or extra coursework.  The local government will be able to answer all of your questions.



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