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Volunteer Nursing, Local & Abroad Opportunities

In addition to the adventure that comes with traveling abroad and the excitement of discovering new cultures, volunteer nursing overseas not only helps develop a career, but also increases a healthcare worker’s sense of compassion, self-worth and skills. Many aspiring student nurses choose to make the trip to a developing or impoverished country before entering a traditional hospital setting. Seasoned nurses also return to volunteer their services whenever they can. International volunteer opportunities are a beneficial experience not only for the nurses, but also for all of the lives and communities they touch.

More than 1.3 billion people across the world lack access to basic healthcare services – mostly because the number of healthcare workers is not rising fast enough to accommodate the demand of a growing global population. The World Health Report says “the right workers with the right skills in the right place doing the right things” can address the need for better global healthcare. Softening the blow of insufficient medical care in developing countries are nurses who volunteer their time, skills and expertise to the cause.

‘Developing’ (or underdeveloped or impoverished) countries are in the most need for increased healthcare facilities and workers. Despite wealth and prosperity found in small pockets of nearly every developing nation, the majority of the country lives in regions with high poverty levels. In addition to inadequate healthcare, these countries generally suffer from:

  • Slow industrial growth
  • Lack of economic stability
  • Overpopulation
  • Lack of clean running water
  • Inadequate or no social services programs
  • Little to no educational options

 

Aid groups and global organizations are most active in developing countries, often providing people with food, education, medicine and other healthcare services.

Wide-Ranging Opportunities for Volunteer Nurses

An increasing number of nurses are seeking volunteer opportunities on a worldwide scale. With a continuing goal to build the largest listing of healthcare volunteering and employment opportunities, HealthCare Volunteer (a non-profit for global health care) reports that since 2008 more than 2,753,720 searches involving over 3,427 organizations have led to more than 42,612 volunteer connections and over 7,069 volunteering opportunities.

According to Monster.com, Doctors Without Borders not only looks for MDs to supply medical care to people living in developing countries, but also seeks out nurses to volunteer their services. In the 21st century, nurse anesthetists, operating room nurses, and nurse-midwives are especially in high demand.

Nowadays, an overseas nursing volunteer has the opportunity to do much more than take someone’s temperature and administer vaccines. They have a chance to make a difference regarding today’s pressing healthcare issues that affect patients abroad. Clinicians working with the education-centric organization Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) identify some of the key issues affecting global health as being:

  • Dermatology: Skin problems affect between 21 and 87 percent of the population, which contributes to a range of physical and psychological disabilities that greatly hinder a person’s quality of life. About 24 percent of primary care visits center on disfigurement and the discomfort of various skin issues. However, many developing countries have no skin care specialists. Volunteer nurses can help educate local healthcare providers on how to address skin conditions they may normally overlook.
  • Trauma and Injuries:  The World Development Report of 2011(Conflict, Security and Development) highlights the impact of violence – estimating that more than 1.5 billion people live in countries where violent conflict affects not only their daily lives, but also their health. The negative impact of violence contributes to overcrowded hospitals, where volunteer nurses can effectively assist with wound care, infection, loss of limbs, and rehabilitation.
  • Rehabilitation: The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that out of the 650 million people living with disabilities around the world – 200 million are children. Of those living with disabilities worldwide, the WHO estimates 80 percent reside in low-income countries that lack access to suitable rehabilitation services. Since the WHO expects the number of people with disabilities to rise due to an ever-growing, aging population, volunteer nurses can help by developing and improving rehabilitation services in their host country through training and education.

 

The Benefits of Overseas Volunteer Nursing

Volunteer nurses truly impact worldwide healthcare by promoting basic medical care and equipping nurses in developing countries with the tools to more effectively prevent disease. Those who volunteer their time, energy and skills often experience an overwhelming sense of accomplishment because they provide healthcare services in places where the need is dire. Many communities in impoverished regions do not have a medical clinic, and villagers must walk for miles just to see a doctor. Seeing the direct results of their actions in such regions is highly rewarding for volunteer nurses.

Nurses may choose to volunteer abroad to:

Sharpen Nursing Skills

Volunteer nurses are able to develop and sharpen their skills before accepting or returning to a position back home. The extreme circumstances and medical cases that a volunteer may encounter abroad prepares a nurse to better tackle challenges, overcome obstacles,  and handle emergencies.

Meet New Challenges

The working conditions in developing countries often create unique challenges for a volunteer nurse. Many impoverished regions are without adequate running water and/or electricity – meaning some nurses may deliver a baby or stitch wounds by candlelight. Also, nurses volunteering in a developing country often encounter eye-opening medical cases (such as patients with elephantiasis) and uncommon causes of death, such as diarrhea.

Rebecca Hibbert mentions the prevalence of ‘jiggers’ (a type of parasitic flea) in the Australian Nursing Journal article “First trip of many for volunteer nurse.” Thriving in unsanitary living conditions, jiggers burrow under the skin, and can then spread throughout the body. The pain, inflammation and ulceration the flea causes can lead to walking difficulties. Hibbert notes that cutting jiggers from under the skin of locals is not something nursing courses teach, but a challenge that volunteer nurses face.

Change Community Perceptions

In certain international communities, many view a visit to the doctor as a ‘last resort’ and are slow to entrust their care to medical professionals. Nurse volunteers can provide moral support and help reduce the anxiety that patients and residents may feel towards healthcare in general.

 

Help Social Groups in Dire Need of Medical Attention

Cultural and public perception of certain social groups often means that communities and family members often overlook or intentionally ignore the needs of a large number of the population, including:

  • The Disabled: Many communities around the world view people with disabilities through a harsh social lens, leaving the disabled with few resources. Due to a lack of available services, the World Report on Disability (2011) states that people with disabilities are generally in poorer health. Volunteer nurses work towards improving the quality of care for disabled individuals overseas who typically go without essential health care and services.
  • Children: Volunteer nurses come in contact with many young patients. They may nurse malnourished children back to health or care for orphaned causalities of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The WHO blames pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding for the HIV-positive diagnosis for about 360,000 children in sub-Saharan Africa in 2010. Volunteer nurses can help educate the population on ways to prevent the spread of the disease to their children.
  • Victims of Discrimination: The lack of education in impoverished regions around the world often leads to a higher incidence of preventable life-threatening diseases and conditions, such as HIV/AIDS. In 2010, around 1.2 million people died from AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and 1.9 million people were infected with HIV. Infected patients often face discrimination. Volunteer nurses often work with local outreach and health organizations to provide healthcare, as well as a voice for individuals facing HIV-related discrimination.

 

Assist Impoverished Regions Recovering from Crisis or Disaster

Nurses gain a deep sense of importance when volunteering in a country experiencing the greater need for medical services following a disaster or crisis, such as earthquakes, tsunamis and famine. Organizations, such as Nurses with Purpose, work with local authorities, existing health care workers, and other groups to provide services and health care around the world.

Gain an Appreciation for Nursing Opportunities in America

A thriving economy, stable government, and technological advancements play a significant role in the working conditions of nurses in America. Volunteer nurses often gain a renewed appreciation and perspective regarding the resources and fair pay that the United States offers.

Travel and Enjoy Cultural Perks

In addition to feeling good about providing healthcare to the disadvantaged, volunteer nurses also get a chance to experience the culture of an international locale. The traditions, customs and beliefs of a foreign country come alive while traveling as a medical volunteer. Nurses also encounter a wealth of art, music, architecture, and literature during their unforgettable travels.

Experience Nursing without Paperwork

Volunteering provides the ideal opportunity for caregivers to concentrate on other aspects of nursing that go beyond the typical responsibilities of a job back home. Volunteers are often free of the stress, politics, and paperwork that can accompany a paid position.

Increase Career Options

When applying for a nursing job, volunteer experience helps boost career opportunities, as well as helps applicants appeal to a greater pool of employers. The survey response of 200 leading businesses in the United Kingdom suggests that employers recruit candidates with volunteering experience over those without. 94% of employers believe volunteering can add to skills.Volunteering also allows nurses to explore and learn more about a wide range of healthcare fields they may want to pursue upon returning home.

Educate Impoverished Communities

Volunteer nurses have the opportunity to take on the role of educator. They not only teach communities about issues that can affect their health, but also instruct international nurses how to enhance the quality of healthcare they provide to patients. They may introduce updated techniques or demonstrate advanced technology.

Overseas Volunteer Options for Nurses

With thousands of opportunities to provide healthcare across the globe, volunteer nurses may consider short-term assignments (usually lasting one to three weeks) or long-term assignments that typically continue on for at least one year. Some organizations pay for transportation and cover fees for food and lodging, while other options only require nurses to pay for airfare. Religious organizations and other groups also sponsor nursing trips to set up makeshift clinics in the outskirts of a city or remote village.

To get an idea of the types of overseas volunteer opportunities available to nurses, consider some of the following leaders in the industry:

  • The Institute for International Cooperation and Development: Provides worldwide volunteer projects with an emphasis on AIDS awareness and family health programs.
  • CrossCulturalSolutions.org – Nurses support overworked staff at small health clinics and understaffed hospitals in low-income communities by bridging the gap between patients and healthcare representatives.
  • United Planet – Volunteer nurses may assist staff with basic tasks, such as blood work, giving injections and setting up an IVs in Ghana, Peru, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Tanzania.

According to the Global Healthcare Volunteering Trends report, there is a need for education on the part of organizations offering volunteer opportunities to nurses – as there are new areas that possess an overwhelming need for healthcare assistance. Historically, certain countries are primary targets for healthcare aid, which tend to attract the most interest in volunteers. As a growing number of possibilities become more visible, it is the ideal time for nurses to reap the benefits of becoming an overseas volunteer as a way to enrich their career.

UNLINKED SOURCE

“First trip of many for volunteer nurse.” Australian Nursing Journal Mar. 2011: 25. Nursing and Allied Health Collection. Web. 11 Mar. 2013.

Disaster Relief Volunteering

Many Nurses want to be a part of disaster relief teams. There are time when disasters strike and we as nurses would love nothing more than to help those communities.

In order to be a part of the relief services it is important to be proactive. If you begin contacting agencies at the time of the disaster, you will in most cases be too late. These agencies are prepared for these disasters to occur, and have already put together and trained a team to effectively provide relief in the safest and best way possible. Applying to these agencies at the time of disaster simply puts a strain on the agencies.

If you are interested in being a part of disaster relief, there are many different ways to go about this. This is a starting point.

United States Based Disaster Relief Agencies

International Disaster Relief Agencies

Disaster Relief Agencies by State

Search by State:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

A

Alabama (top)

Alabama Department of Public Health – The ADPH is in need of Advance Practice Nurses, LPNs, Licensed Vocational Nurses and RNs. They provide free training for a variety of potential disasters.

American Red Cross, Alabama – The Alabama Chapter of the American Red Cross is in need of all types of nurses who can be ready to deploy on short notice for disasters and emergencies.

Alaska (top)

American Red Cross, Alaska – The Alaska Chapter of the American Red Cross is in need of all types of nurses who can be ready to deploy on short notice for disasters and emergencies.

Arizona (top)

American Red Cross, Grand Canyon Chapter – The Arizona American Red Cross can use all types of nurses who are ready to deploy on short notice for disasters and emergencies.

American Red Cross, Southern Arizona Chapter

Arizona Emergency System for the Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (AZ-ESAR-VHP) – The AZ-ESAR-VHP is in need of various types of nurses for emergency and disaster situations.

Arkansas (top)

American Red Cross, Arkansas – The Arkansas Chapter of the American Red Cross is always in need of all types of nurses who are ready to deploy on short notice to deal with emergencies and disaster situations.

Arkansas Volunteer Registry – Nurses can register here to be called upon in the event of an emergency or disaster.

C

California (top)

American Red Cross, California – There are several chapters of the American Red Cross in California. Nurses can find their chapter and sign up to assist in the event of an emergency or disaster situation.

California Disaster Healthcare Volunteers – A part of the Emergency Registration for the for the Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals, the California chapter is in need of various types of nurses to register.

Colorado (top)

American Red Cross, Colorado – The American Red Cross, Colorado Chapter, encourages nurses of all kinds to volunteer and to register to aid in emergency situations.

Colorado Volunteer Mobilizer (CVM) – CVM invites nurses and healthcare professionals of all kinds to register to be called on in the event of a disaster or emergency situation.

Connecticut (top)

American Red Cross, Connecticut – The Connecticut Chapter of the American Red Cross is looking for health professionals of all kinds to register to be called in the event of a disaster or emergency.

State of Connecticut Emergency Credentialing Program for Health Professionals – Nurses can register here to be called in the event of a natural disaster, tragedy or emergency.

D

Delaware (top)

American Red Cross, Delaware – The Delaware Chapter of the American Red Cross is always accepting volunteer nurses of all kinds. Register here to be called in the case of a disaster or emergency.

State Emergency Registry of Volunteers and Healthcare Personnel for Delaware – Nurses of all kinds can register here to be called in the event of a disaster or emergency.

F

Florida (top)

American Red Cross, Florida – Nurses of all kinds can register with their local chapter of the Red Cross to be called in the event of an emergency or disaster.

State Emergency Responders and Volunteers of Florida – Part of the ESAR-VHP, the State Emergency Responders and Volunteers of Florida is in need of all types of nurses and health professionals.

G

Georgia (top)

American Red Cross, Georgia – Nurses of all kinds can register with the Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross to be called in the event of an emergency or disaster.

State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Georgia – Part of the ESAR-VHP, the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Georgia accepts all types of nurses and health professionals who are willing to help in the event of a disaster.

H

Hawaii (top)

American Red Cross, Hawaii – All types of nurses can register with the Hawaii Chapter of the American Red Cross to help in emergency situations.

Hawaii Volunteer Enrollment and Management – Nurses and health professionals of all kinds can enroll to aid in an emergency situation.

I

Idaho (top)

American Red Cross, Idaho – The Idaho Chapter of the American Red Cross accepts health professional volunteers and nurses of all kinds.

Volunteer Idaho – Volunteer Idaho accepts nurses of all kinds who will aid with public health emergencies and other emergency situations.

Illinois (top)

American Red Cross, Illinois – There are nearly 20 chapters of the American Red Cross in Illinios, all accepting nurses and health professionals who are willing to aid in an emergency situation.

Illinois Helps – Part of the Medical Reserve Corps, Illinois Helps can utilize nurses of all types. By registering, nurses will make themselves available to help with public health emergencies and other significant disasters.

Illinois Medical Emergency Response Team (IMERT) – IMERT responds to disasters and public health emergencies in the state of Illinois. Nurses can join a network of more than 600 healthcare volunteers.

Illinois Nurse Volunteer Emergency Needs Team (INVENT) – INVENT also responds to public health emergencies or disasters in the state of Illinois and accepts all types of nurse volunteers.

Indiana (top)

American Red Cross, Indiana – With over 20 chapters in the state of Indiana, the American Red Cross accepts nurse volunteers who will deploy quickly to aid in emergency situations.

Hope Crisis Response Network – The Hope Crisis Response Network aids communities with a variety of issues, including disasters and emergencies. They accept non-medical volunteers as well as all types of nurses.

Indiana Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals – The ISDH ESAR-VHP accepts all types of nurses with a valid Indiana nursing license.

Indiana Crisis Assistance Response Team – The Indiana Crisis Assistance Response Team accepts nurses who will aid with public health emergencies and disasters.

Iowa (top)

American Red Cross, Iowa – The Iowa Chapter of the American Red Cross accepts all types of nurses to aid with emergency situations and disasters.

Iowa Disaster Behavioral Response Team (DBHRT) – DBHRT accepts registration from all types of Iowa-licensed nurses to aid with public health emergencies and disaster situations.

Iowa Statewide Emergency Registry of Volunteers – This is another organization that responds to disasters and public health emergencies in the state of Iowa. They accept most types of nurses.

K

Kansas (top)

American Red Cross, Kansas – There are several chapters of the American Red Cross in Kansas. Nurses can find their local chapter and register if they are able to deploy quickly in the event of a crisis or public health emergency.

Kansas System for the Early Registration of Volunteers (KSERV) – KSERV responds to public health emergencies and disasters in the state of Kansas and in other states. They accept numerous types of nurse volunteers and other health professional volunteers.

Kentucky (top)

American Red Cross, Kentucky – With various chapters of the American Red Cross in Kentucky, licensed nurses can find their local chapter and register to aid in a disaster or emergency situation.

Kentucky Community Crisis Response Board – The Kentucky Community Crisis Response Board responds to public health emergencies and disaster situations. Nurses of all types are permitted to volunteer.

Kentucky Health Emergency Listing of Professionals for Surge – Nurses are welcome to volunteer to aid with public health emergencies or disasters in the state of Kentucky.

L

Louisiana (top)

American Red Cross, Louisiana – There are numerous chapters of the American Red Cross in Louisiana. Nurses can find their local chapter and volunteer to be of assistance in crisis situations.

Louisiana Volunteers in Action (LAVA) – LAVA accepts registrations for health professionals of all kinds, including nurses, to aid in emergency situations.

M

Maine (top)

American Red Cross, Maine – The Maine Chapter of the American Red Cross accepts nurse volunteers who can deploy on short notice to help with emergency situations.

Maine Responds – Maine Responds coordinates state-wide response to emergencies and disasters. They accept public health professional volunteers of most types.

Maryland (top)

American Red Cross, Maryland – There are 8 different chapters of the American Red Cross in the state of Maine. Nurses can find their local chapter and volunteer to be of assistance in a crisis or disaster situation.

Maryland Responds – Maryland Responds is an organization accepting nurse volunteers who can be deployed to assist with emergencies and disasters.

Massachusetts (top)

American Red Cross, Massachusetts – There are several chapters of the American Red Cross in Massachusetts. Each of them accept nurse volunteers who can be deployed with short notice to aid in crisis situations.

Massachusetts Responds – An organization coordinating response to disasters and public health emergencies, Massachusetts Responds accepts most types of nurses licensed in the state of Massachusetts.

Michigan (top)

American Red Cross, Michigan – With 20 different Michigan chapters, the American Red Cross responds to emergencies and disasters. They accept most types of nurses licensed in the state of Michigan.

MI Volunteer Registry – Nurses can register with the MI Volunteer Registry to be contacted when needed – in the event of a disaster or crisis situation.

Minnesota (top)

American Red Cross, Minnesota – There are several chapters of the American Red Cross acting in Minnesota. Nurses can register with their local chapter to be of assistance in the event of a public health emergency or disaster.

Minnesota Responds – This organization accepts most types of Minnesota health care professionals to register to be of assistance in the event of an emergency.

Mississippi (top)

American Red Cross, Mississippi – There are 5 different chapters of the American Red Cross in Mississippi. Nurses licensed in the state are encouraged to register to be of assistance in the event of a public health emergency or disaster.

Mississippi State Department of Health Volunteer Registry – Another registry that coordinates responses to state emergencies or disaster situations, nurses are encouraged to register to be of assistance when needed.

Missouri (top)

American Red Cross, Missouri – Nurses can register with the Missouri Chapter of the American Red Cross to help in times of emergency or disaster.

Show-Me Response – The Show-Me Response organization attends to state level emergencies such as public health emergencies or disasters. They accept all types of volunteers, including licensed medical professionals.

Montana (top)

American Red Cross, Montana – The Montana Chapter of the American Red Cross accepts nurse volunteers who can be deployed on short notice to help assist with public health emergencies or disasters.

Montana Volunteer Registry – Nurses can register with the Montana Volunteer Registry to be called on in times of crisis or disaster.

N

Nebraska (top)

American Red Cross, Nebraska – There are 4 chapters of the American Red Cross present in Nebraska. Nurses can volunteer with their local chapter to help in times of crisis or emergency.

Nebraska Volunteer Registry – The Nebraska Volunteer Registry coordinates emergency response for public health emergencies and disasters. Nurses can register here to be called on when needed.

Nevada (top)

American Red Cross, Nevada – There are 2 chapters of the American Red Cross in Nevada. Nurses can find the chapter that applies to them and register to be of assistance in an emergency situation.

New Hampshire (top)

American Red Cross, New Hampshire – The New Hampshire Chapter of the American Red Cross accepts health professional volunteers to aid in the event of emergencies or disasters.

New Hampshire Disaster Behavioral Health – Behavioral health professionals and nurses can register to be of assistance in crisis situations here.

New Hampshire Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals – Nurses of all kinds are welcome to register here to be called on in the event of a disaster or public health emergency.

New Jersey (top)

American Red Cross, New Jersey – There are several chapters of the American Red Cross in New Jersey. Nurses of all types are encouraged to register with their chapter to be of use in an emergency situation or disaster.

New Mexico (top)

American Red Cross, New Mexico – The New Mexico Chapter of the American Red Cross encourages nurses licensed in the state to register to be of assistance in the event of an emergency or disaster.

New Mexico Serves – A chapter of the Medical Reserves Corps, New Mexico Serves accepts volunteer nurses of all kinds to aid with disaster response and public health emergencies.

New York (top)

American Red Cross, New York – There are more than 10 chapters of the American Red Cross in New York. Nurses licensed in the state are encouraged to volunteer to be called on in times of disaster or public health emergency.

ServNY – ServNy is a registry that nurses can join to be called on in times of crisis and disaster.

North Carolina (top)

American Red Cross, North Carolina – There is a huge number of American Red Cross chapters in the state of North Carolina. Nurses can register with their local chapter to be of assistance in an emergency or disaster situation.

ServNC – ServNC is a registry that nurses can join to be called on in times of crisis and disaster.

North Dakota (top)

American Red Cross, North Dakota – There are 4 different chapters of the American Red Cross in North Dakota. Nurses of all types can register to be called on in times of disaster or public health emergency.

North Dakota Public Health Emergency Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps – Nurses can register here to be of assistance with disasters and emergency situations in the state of North Dakota.

O

Ohio (top)

American Red Cross, Ohio – Nurses licensed in the state of Ohio can sign up with the Ohio Chapter of the American Red Cross to be of assistance in times of disaster or emergency.

Ohio Department of Mental Health – Behavioral health nurses can register with the Ohio Department of Mental Health Volunteer Program to be of assistance with emergencies and disasters.

Ohio Responds – A chapter of the Medical Reserve Corps, Ohio responds manages assistance during disasters and public health emergencies. Nurses can register to be called on in times of need.

Oklahoma (top)

American Red Cross, Oklahoma – Nurses licensed in the state of Oklahoma can sign up with the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Red Cross to help in times of crisis or disaster.

Oregon (top)

American Red Cross, Oregon – Licensed nurses in Oregon can sign up with the Oregon Chapter of the American Red Cross to be called on in times of emergency.

State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Oregon – Nurses and other health professionals licensed in Oregon can register here to be called on when needed, in times of public health emergency or disaster.

P

Pennsylvania (top)

American Red Cross, Pennsylvania – There is a huge number of chapters of the American Red Cross in Pennsylvania. Licensed nurses can register with their chapter to be of assistance in times of need.

SERVPA – Nurses and others can register here to be of assistance in times of public health crisis, emergency or disaster.

R

Rhode Island (top)

American Red Cross, Rhode Island – Nurses licensed in the state of Rhode Island can register with the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Red Cross to be of assistance in times of need.

RI Responds – RI Responds is a registry where nurses and other health professionals can make it known that they want to help in the event of a disaster or emergency.

S

South Carolina (top)

American Red Cross, South Carolina – There are 10 different chapters of the American Red Cross in South Carolina. Licensed nurses can find their chapter and register to aid in disaster response and public health emergencies.

South Carolina Statewide Emergency Registry of Volunteers – Another SERV chapter, the SC SERV encourages licensed nurses and other health professionals to register to help in times of emergency or disaster.

South Dakota (top)

American Red Cross, South Dakota – There are several chapters of the American Red Cross in South Dakota. Interested licensed nurses in the state of South Dakota can find their chapter and register to help in emergency situations.

Statewide Emergency Registry of Volunteers – The South Dakota SERV encourages licensed nurses and other health professionals to register to help in times of emergency or disaster.

T

Tennessee (top)

American Red Cross, Tennessee – The American Red Cross has more than 10 chapters within the state of Tennessee. Licensed nurses are encouraged to register with their chapter in order to be of assistance during a crisis.

Tennessee Volunteer Mobilizer – Licensed nurses and other healthcare professionals can register with the Tennessee Volunteer Mobilizer if they are able to deploy in short notice to aid with disasters and emergencies.

Texas (top)

American Red Cross, Texas – Licensed nurses are encouraged to register with their chapter of the American Red Cross in Texas. They will then be called upon when needed, typically in times of disaster or public health emergency.

Project Texas – Project Texas is looking for licensed nurses and other health professionals to call upon in times of emergency or disaster.

Ready Texas Nurses – Ready Texas Nurses is another registry that helps coordinate disaster responses for a variety of issues, including natural disasters and public health emergencies.

Texas Disaster Volunteer Registry – Licensed nurses are encouraged to register here to be of assistance in times of crisis or emergency.

U

Utah (top)

American Red Cross, Utah – The Utah Chapter of the American Red Cross accepts registrations from licensed nurses to be of assistance in times of emergency or crisis.

Utah Responds – Utah Responds coordinates disaster response in times of emergency, and welcomes nurses licensed in the state of Utah.

V

Vermont (top)

American Red Cross, Vermont – The Vermont Chapter of the American Red Cross welcomes licensed nurses to register to be called on in times of need.

Vermont Emergency Response Volunteers – Licensed nurses in the state of Vermont can register with VERV to be called upon for disaster response.

Virginia (top)

American Red Cross, Virginia – There are numerous chapters of the American Red Cross in Virginia. Licensed nurses are encouraged to register with their chapter to be called upon in times of public health emergency or disaster.

Virginia Volunteer Health System – Licensed nurses can register with the Virginia Volunteer Health System to be called upon for disaster response situations.

W

Washington (top)

American Red Cross, Washington – Licensed nurses are encouraged to register with their chapter of the American Red Cross in Washington to be called in times of disaster or public health emergency.

Washington Responds – Licensed nurses can register with Washington Responds to be deployed to clinics, hospitals and communities throughout the state in times of public health emergency or disaster.

West Virginia (top)

American Red Cross, West Virginia – There are 8 different chapters of the American Red Cross in the state of West Virginia. Licensed nurses are encouraged to register with their chapter to be of assistance in times of crisis or disaster.

West Virginia Responder Emergency Deployment Information – This organization is in need of nurses of all types who can deploy on short notice to help with disasters and emergency health situations.

Wisconsin (top)

American Red Cross, Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Chapter of the American Red Cross encourages licensed nurses and other health professionals to register to be of assistance in times of disaster.

Wisconsin Emergency Assistance Volunteer Registry (WEAVR) – WEAVR accepts registration from licensed nurses within the state who can deploy quickly to help with emergencies and disasters.

Wyoming (top)

American Red Cross, Wyoming – The Wyoming Chapter of the American Red Cross is looking for licensed nurses who can help with disaster situations and public health emergencies.

Wyoming Enrollment Response Operations Logistics – This system helps to register and notify Wyoming licensed nurses and health professionals who can help with disasters and emergency situations.

When signing up to help with a state emergency response organization, it’s important to understand that you may be called suddenly in the event of a disaster. You must be able to deploy quickly and be ready for any situation that may occur.

Also contact your local public health department for further information regarding becoming involved.

Sponsored volunteering programs will typically cover the costs for living arrangements, food and other necessities for nurses while they’re volunteering. Some organizations may even cover the cost of travel.

While there are a few organizations that do cover 100% of the costs, others may just sponsor a percentage. These organizations sponsor either all or some of the volunteering costs.

Doctors Without Borders

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
$3000-$3500 not including immunizations
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (855) 855-1961

Founded in the early 1970′s by a group of French doctors and journalists, Doctors Without Borders has grown rapidly and now serves people in more than 60 countries who are suffering from a variety of medical issues. Doctors don’t make up the entirety of the volunteers however and the organization says that on any one day as many as 27, 000 doctors, nurses, sanitation experts, and epidemiologists and mental health professionals from a diverse group of nationalities are offering aid around the globe.The organization prides itself on its ethics, its neutrality in armed conflicts, and its fierce independence from any political, military, or religious influence. The organization also takes great care in its financial transparency and according to the organization, 90 percent of the funding for this work comes from private, non-government sources. Currently, the organization has a need for Anesthesiologists, HIV and Tuberculosis Specialists, Nurse-Midwives, Obstetricians, and Pharmacists and is also urgently searching for fluent French speakers to help in Africa.

If you are interested in volunteering for field work, know that you must have at least two years of relevant work experience and the willingness to work for at least 9-to-12 months. French speakers, experienced travelers, and experienced supervisors are also encouraged to apply. For those worried about compensation, Doctors Without Borders provides their field staff with a modest monthly salary, comprehensive benefits, and room and board amongst other things.

Peace Corps

1 Education Requirements: Bachelor’s
2 Average Cost:
Sponsored + $7600 paid at completion
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 855.855.1961

Since its inception in 1961, the Peace Corps has become one of the largest and most recognized volunteer organizations providing aid and relief to developing countries and their citizens. The organization currently has more than 8,000 volunteers and trainees serving 76 countries on nearly every continent. These volunteers provide aid in everything from education, to health, to economic development and their work is vital to the health and economic growth of the countries and people they serve.

The Corps is an independent agency working within the executive branch of the government. The agency is funded by the congressional budget and appropriations process and is included in the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill. Almost two-thirds of the volunteers are female and the average age of volunteers is 28, although seven percent of volunteers are over 50 years of age. If you are considering signing up, you would be wise to have a bachelor’s degree as 90 percent of the positions offered by the group require a bachelor’s degree and the ten percent that don’t require degrees do require 3-5 years of full-time work experience in related fields.

Flexibility, demonstrated language skills, and leadership ability and skills are also traits that the Peace Corps is looking for in its volunteers. Also, volunteers must be U.S. citizens, they must be 18 years or older, and they must be willing to commit to 27 months of service. Those that do sign up are treated to one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences of their life.

Medico

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
Sponsored
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (512) 930-1893

MEDICO stands for Medical, Eye, and Dental International Health Care Organization and it is a 20-year-old nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive health care to Central American countries – primarily Honduras and Nicaragua – and their citizens. The organization’s primary method of service is week-long mission trips comprised of less than 16-25 medical professionals but the group also started more long-term special projects that include clean water initiatives, sponsoring patients so they can travel to the U.S. for surgical needs, and a dental fluoride treatment program as well.

The organization is not limited to physicians and surgeons however, it also welcomes dentists, nurse practitioners, optometrists, pharmacists, and health educators, allowing the small mission teams to provide comprehensive care to the people in need as they usually work with more than 2,000 patients over four or five days.

Team members must be at least 18 years old, willing to be an unpaid volunteer and willing to put down a deposit and pay for their own travel. The efficiency and effectiveness of the charity organization has attracted medical professionals from all around the world and while many former team members agreed that the work was hard and challenging, they also raved about how fun, rewarding, and memorable the experience was as a whole.

These organizations do not sponsor any of the costs of volunteering. It will be up to you to pay for travel and necessities. You may even need to arrange and pay for housing while you’re volunteering. Some individuals choose to hold private fundraisers in order to raise the money needed.

Work The World

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
View
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 1-877-879-8811

Work The World is an organization geared towards undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in healthcare. Last year, the organization had more than 1,200 students looking for to be placed in safe and structured internships and jobs in countries like Ghana, Nepal, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka. Students usually work for anywhere from two weeks to six months in private and public hospitals, providing everything from general healthcare to nursing to midwifery and pharmaceutical needs.

Perhaps the best part about Work The World is that the program has few barriers to entry for students. Work The World accepts any students who have completed a healthcare course, although specific nursing placements are only available to nursing students or professionals. For students that are interested, keep in mind that these placements will not be paid internships although Work The World is happy to work with your school to ensure you get course credit.

The program also requires interested parties to make their own travel and insurance accommodations because their diverse groups of volunteers come from places where insurance and airfare can differ drastically. In fact, placements can cost anywhere from $500 dollars for the short stays, to nearly $4,000 for a six-week stay in a hospital.

United Planet

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 1 800 292 2316

United Planet is an international non-profit organization that sends volunteers on “Quests” where they volunteer in the communities of more than 40 countries across the globe. Volunteers travel to everywhere from Mexico and Ecuador to Cambodia and Jordan, helping in areas such as healthcare, women’s empowerment, environmental conservation and more. While volunteers do not need to be medical professionals, the organization is always looking for medical professionals to help with healthcare, disaster relief, disabled and elderly care and much more.

Interested parties can choose from two options. They can either choose a short-term quest, which can last between one to 12 weeks and cost anywhere from $1,500-$5,600 depending on the length of the quest. Long-term quests last anywhere from six months to one year as volunteers work on a community project, and they are priced between $5965 and $10,225, depending on the location and length of stay. These fees include medical insurance, a monthly stipend, orientation and training costs, and airport transfers. It is also worth noting that since United Planet is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, all fees are tax-deductible for U.S. citizens.

You can volunteer as an individual or in a group and while all ages are welcome, there are some minimum and maximum age requirements associated with the different quests to know. For short-term quests, there is no upper limit on age, and most volunteers under the age of 18 will need guardian supervision. For the long-term quests, volunteers must be U.S. or Canadian citizens between the ages of 18-30, although the upper limit is flexible.

Amizade

1 Education Requirements: Licensed Nurses or Nursing Students (other healthcare professionals welcome)
2 Average Cost
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 412-586-4986

In the nearly two decades that Amizade Global Service-Learning has been operating, nearly 6,000 volunteers have worked with local communities in nine countries on four continents to work on a number of different projects that range from running at-risk youth camps to clean water initiatives. The organization has a number of different programs that appeal to a wide variety of volunteers. There are service learning courses that are available to students for university credit, or specific opportunities geared towards those entering or experienced in the medical field.

On a yearly basis, Amizade sends about 300 students and volunteers to countries such as India, Bolivia, Northern Ireland, Trinidad & Tobago, and Tanzania just to name a few. The fees, which may differ depending on the program, for individual volunteer placements start at around $1,700 for two weeks and can cost upwards for $475 for each additional week after that. The organization does offer a limited number of partial scholarships and more than 80 percent of the fees go directly to program costs such as food, lodging and support from local directors, according to the organization itself.

For nursing and pre-medical students or medical professionals, individual volunteer opportunities and group opportunities exist in countries such as Bolivia, Brazil, Ghana, and Tanzania. For the opportunities in Bolivia and Brazil, volunteers should expect to be proficient in Spanish and Portuguese respectively and all volunteers in all four locations get the rewarding opportunity to support local healthcare professional who are handicapped by their lack of resources.

Health Volunteer Overseas

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (202)296-0928

Incorporated as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization in the summer of 1986, Health Volunteers Overseas dedicated itself to providing improved health care in developing and underdeveloped countries across the globe. Since its inception, the organization has grown rapidly in popularity and funding. It now annually sends 500 volunteers to more than 80 project sites in more than 25 countries and has an approximate operating budget of $900,000 compiled primarily from dues, sponsorships and donations.

The majority of health professionals who volunteer with the organization are actual physicians, but they aren’t the only volunteers the organization is looking for. 12 percent of volunteers are either nurses or nurse anesthetists and another 15 percent are physical therapists. The organization maintains active volunteer presences across the world and as of August 1, 2011, there were still 82 total active projects taking place in developing countries in Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.

Interested and qualified professionals should expect to serve for at least one month, although shorter and longer volunteer placements do exist and they should also expect to travel on their trip by themselves or with one or two other qualified professionals. Volunteers are expected to pay for travel to and from their projects and a few may even need to find their own room and board. The good news is that most of these expenses are tax-deductible since the organization is registered as a non-profit.

Hope Worldwide

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 610-254-8800

What began in 1991 with only a trio of small programs and a partnership with the International Churches of Christ, has rapidly blossomed into a global charity that serves more than two million people every year and operates all across the world, according to the charity’s website. Some of the work that Hope Worldwide is doing includes AIDS treatment and education in Africa, disaster response on multiple continents, and elderly care in Eastern Europe.

The charity offers multiple options for service, including a year-long, summer-long, week-long, and day-long service option depending on how committed you are and how involved you wish to become. Interested volunteers will need to apply to the program they wish to work in, and different costs, age requirements, and special skills will be needed depending on which program you choose.

The organization doesn’t provide healthcare or immunizations, but it does provide security, lodging, and meals for its volunteers. Keep in mind that many of these programs and the charity itself are faith-based. This doesn’t mean you need to be of a certain religion, just know that there may be religious components to the service project.

Samaritan’s Purse

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
$1500 to $3000 for airline expenses; food and housing allowances are provided in addition to a small stipend.
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (855) 855-1961

Founded by Bob Pierce in 1970, Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational Christian organization providing several forms of assistance to individuals all over the world with offices in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US. Their primary focus is on aiding those in need of spiritual and physical assistance of all kinds.

The organization aids countries that have been ravaged by natural disasters, disease, war and famine. They assist villages and neighborhoods with development, and have several children’s programs that assist in providing education, medical care, clothing, food and shelter to children around the world. The organization’s World Medical Mission program offers medical care to individuals around the world who would otherwise be unable to obtain it. Through this program, Samaritan’s Purse sends doctors, dentists, nurses and other medical personnel to mission hospitals around the world.

If you’re interested in volunteering for the World Medical Mission Program through Samaritan’s Purse, know that you will need 2 professional references as well as a reference from your evangelical church pastor. You must also submit to a background check before being placed and be willing to agree with and sign the Statement of Faith and Practice. Samaritan’s Purse assists volunteers with travel arrangements, housing, and required paperwork.

The Haiti Connection

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
N/A
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (855) 855-1961

The Haiti Connection was founded in 2000 to help provide resources and bring together global efforts to support individuals who work and volunteer in Haiti. The goal of the connection is to evaluate opportunities and list them so interested individuals can find a way to help. There are more than 700 healthcare providers listed that assist with medical supplies or healthcare professionals to areas in Haiti that have need for them.

Volunteering opportunities include the Immunization Project, through which medical professionals travel to different areas providing immunizations to those in need. If you’re a member of one of the healthcare organizations partnered with The Haiti Connection, you may inquire through your organization about volunteering opportunities

Baptist Medical Dental Fellowship

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
Average Cost: $3000-$3500 not including immunizations
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (704) 872-4246

BMDF or Baptist Medical Dental Fellowship is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing medical and dental care to impoverished areas around the world, including the US. Through their short term volunteer opportunities and global volunteer opportunities, medical professionals can volunteer their time to assist those in need. If you are interested in volunteering, you can search through the upcoming trips and needs here: http://www.bmdf.org/volunteer.

If you are interested in volunteering, you should know that you’re responsible for obtaining the things you need in order to travel overseas, including passports, immunizations, etc.

Children’s Surgery International

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
N/A
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (612) 746-4082

Formed in the early 1990′s by Sue Schacht and Mary Alice Seipp, Children’s Surgery International helps provide medical procedures to developing countries who suffer from certain facial deformities. Formerly a branch of Operation Smile, the organization began providing surgeries for needy children in 2001.

Their primary purpose is providing reconstructive surgeries to children suffering from cleft lip and cleft palate, but they provide other medical procedures as well. They currently have more than 200 professionals and volunteers within their network and send surgical trips to areas all over the world.

If you’re interested in volunteering, you must have at least 3 years of recent nursing experience (OR nurses must have OR experience) and must upload your current licensing information as well as your resume.

Go Ministries

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
$950 + Airfare (between $500 and $900)
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (502) 493-9846

G.O. Ministries was established in 1996 by Brook Brotzman. The foundation partners with more than 100 Christian pastors and leaders to feed more than 1,000 children in nine different nutrition centers. They also provide education to more than 600 children and offer medical aid through a daily medical clinic.

Through their G.O. Ministries Medical Outreach programs, the organization helps send medical teams to different areas around the world to provide medical care, medicine and vitamins to those in need. If you plan to volunteer, you need to create a team of volunteers with a minimum of 10 people and after selecting a team leader, must contact the organization at the phone number below. You must also collect and provide the medications and supplies needed for the trip.

Medical Ministry International

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
Between $800 and $1000 for 1 week
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (855) 855-1961

The Medical Ministry International works to provide medical care through long term programs in 22 different countries throughout the world. With short-term projects that send teams of volunteers throughout the world (medical and non-medical), there are plenty of volunteering opportunities. They also have permanent centers that help address the needs of the impoverished while training doctors, hospital administrators, technicians and nurses. A variety of medical personnel are needed for these trips, from RNs and medical assistants to radiology technicians and dentists.

Medical Missionaries

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
N/A
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (540) 347-5008

Medical Missionaries is a non-profit organization consisting of more than 200 medical professionals and non-medical professionals. Founded in 1997 by Dr. Gilbert Irwin, the overall goal of the organization is to improve the quality of life of individuals in the US and around the world. Medical Missionaries built a hospital in Haiti that serves more than 120,000 people.

These medical professionals perform volunteer services such as caring for the ill or impoverished, educating medical professionals, preventing malnutrition, providing clean drinking water, shelter and housing.

Currently, Medical Missionaries is looking for nurses and other medical professionals to travel to Haiti and the Dominican Republic to care for the ill at their clinic and occasionally travel to areas in Africa. If you’re interested in volunteering, you’ll need to contact the directors at the numbers below.

Medical Teams International

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
N/A
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (800) 959-4325 Ext. 3336

Medical Teams International is a non-profit organization that provides aid to people affected by disasters, war and poverty in 70 different countries around the world. Teams of medical professionals are sent to areas where little or no medical treatment exists or in areas ravaged by disasters that need all the help they can get. If you’re interested in volunteering, you’ll need to make a commitment to the mission statement, be in good health and possess a valid passport as well as current professional license. You’ll also need all of the recommended immunizations and must pay for travel as well as all expenses and ACE emergency evacuation service.

Catholic Medical Mission Board

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
$5000 (CMMB supports the majority of the approx. $15,000 cost, but asks that volunteers raise one-third.)
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (212) 242-7757

CMMB or Catholic Medical Mission Board is a charity based in the US that is focused on worldwide healthcare. Established in 1912, CMMB works to distribute medicine and medical supplies as well as placing volunteer medical professionals in underprivileged areas around the world. Their primary focus is on women and children in developing areas of the world. They have worked to provide care to Latin America and the Caribbean as well as other places and have responded to the AIDS epidemic as well as little known tropical diseases.

The CMMB asks for trained medical professional volunteers to work in health facilities with limited resources for one year. They are in need of all types of medical professionals.

Doctors For Global Health

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
N/A – volunteer is responsible for their own costs including airfare
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (855) 855-1961

Doctors for Global Health is a non-profit organization that advocates and provides education, medical care, art and more across developing areas of the world. DGH has already assisted communities in places like Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Uganda and even in the US. DGH works to increase awareness and better access to human rights in these areas. DGH is currently in need of most types of medical professionals as well as non-medical volunteers. If you’re interested in volunteering, know that you need at least a conversational understanding of the language most spoken in your destination.

Operation Smile

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
Between $800 and $1000 for 1 week
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (888) 677-6453

Established in 1982, Operation Smile is a non-profit children’s medical charity that helps children in impoverished countries who suffer from dental conditions or facial deformities such as cleft palate and cleft lip. Operation Smile helps these children have the procedures they need to have a beautiful smile. Operation Smile is interested in volunteer medical professionals of all kinds who can perform or assist with surgeries for children. They’ve created an online community where volunteers can gather information and apply easily online.

San Lucas Mission

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
N/A Groups must pay their own travel expenses and bring their own materials.
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (507) 359-2699

The San Lucas Mission is a project overseen by the Diocese of New Ulm, and over the past 45 years, has been providing locals with a variety of assistance. This includes free healthcare clinics and eye clinics, education (the literacy rate in the past several decades has gone from 2.5% to more than 85%), and more. They accept volunteers to assist with their healthcare facilities, and typically travel in groups with at least one Spanish-speaking individual.

Partners In Development

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
$1300
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (978) 380-6132

Partners in Development is a non-profit group dedicated to providing medical care and other assistance to individuals in developing countries. Their primary goal is to assist villages and communities to develop through a variety of methods, including loans, housing opportunity and medical care. PID accepts medical volunteers of various kinds to travel to underdeveloped areas and provide medical care and medication to those who would otherwise never be able to have it. Their primary work is done in Haiti, San Bernardino and Guatemala.

Partners In Health

1 Education Requirements: Nursing License
2 Average Cost:
N/A – volunteer is responsible for their own costs including airfare
3 View Application
4 Visit Website
5 (617) 998-9822

Partners in Health is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing healthcare to individuals in rural Haiti, Peru and Siberia who would otherwise not be able to afford healthcare. Established in 1987, volunteers who were working in Haiti formed a group to further aid them in gathering resources for the people of Haiti. Since their formation, they have expanded to 8 other sites in Haiti as well as 5 other countries. Partners in Health seeks qualified medical personnel to distribute medication and medical care to individuals in these locations. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout the PiH network. Information can be found here: http://www.pih.org/pages/volunteer

Forming Your Own Volunteering Project

There are many nurses and organizations in this world that are seeking to make a difference, help needy communities, and to serve and care for needy populations. Some of the organizations that work to send medical personnel to regions have an abundance of applications. Sometimes they require high standards of qualifications in order to appropriately serve these populations, such as being fluent in the language of the population being served, having certain higher education degrees, or having experience in over seas volunteering.

Is it best to work within already established organizations to help and serve these communities?

Yes. Many of these agencies have a great deal of experience in the needs of these communities and have established relationships with the community needing help.

Do you need to work with these agencies in order to volunteer overseas?

No. You can create your own mission and team to administer help to needy populations.

How can you develop your own volunteering mission?

 

Create a Team

Put together a team of healthcare professionals who are interested in being a part of a volunteer mission. Depending on your mission goals, you will want to build a team that is able to provide care for the population you are looking to serve.

It is a good idea when putting a group together to include Nurse Practitioners and or Doctors to be a part of the mission. Of course it depends upon your mission, but including a Doctor or Nurse Practitioner can allow the mission team a greater support structure as well as a higher level of care. It is up to you and your team to surround yourself with the appropriate level of experience and resources to complete your mission.

Form a Mission

Develop a set of goals that you and your team are looking to overcome. Be very specific as to what your team is looking to accomplish on this trip.

By answering these questions, you’ll have a greater vision for the mission you’re creating and a better understanding of what you will need.

Get Funding

This is one of the most difficult hurdles for many volunteers. Getting funding for your group is imperative. Setting your financial mission goals are important. After that, it is up to you and the team to work on putting the funds together. Medical supplies should be considered separate because there are non-profit organizations that will donate this supplies to willing groups. More on medical supplies in the next step.

Ways to Fundraise-

Start by working with us. We will create a page for your team to help create public awareness within the nursing community.

1. Create fundraising channels

 

You would be amazed at how much money can raised by using these channels and getting your mission out to other nurses. Find nurses with large social outreach that would be willing to tweet your mission to their followers.

2. Ask your local community.

 

3. Create fundraising events.

 

 

Acquire Medical Supplies

There are companies that donate medical supplies to mission groups just like this. Three groups that specifically work to support medical personnel in this way are:

AmeriCares

logoFounded in 1982, AmeriCares is a non-profit organization providing disaster relief and humanitarian relief to countries all around the world. In the 30 years since AmeriCares was founded, they’ve provided more than $10 billion worth of aid to more than 160 countries. Their main goal is to provide essential medicines and medical care to the nearly 2 billion people in the world that don’t have access to even the most basic medical care.

Through their Medical Outreach Program, US based medical professionals travel to clinics located in different areas of the world and administer medical care with donated supplies. While AmeriCares does not accept applications from individual volunteers for overseas programs, but welcomes medical volunteers at their headquarters in Connecticut and at three free clinic locations in Connecticut.

You will need to be a licensed Connecticut nurse or doctor, or nurse practitioner with at least 2 years of experience in the medical field.

Application: http://www.americaresfreeclinics.org/volunteers/ Phone: (203) 658-9500
Education Requirements: RN, NP Average Cost: N/A

 

Blessings International

blessings-internationalFounded in 1981, Blessings International provides healthcare supplies and medicines to teams who travel around the world to treat individuals who have little or no access to medical care. In addition to providing medicines and supplies to some of the most remote places in the world, they have supplied medicines to free or income-based clinics in the US as well. They are able to provide these medical teams with supplies and medicine through donations.

Brother’s Brother

brothers-brother-foundation_200x200Brother’s Brother was established in 1958 by Dr. Robert Hingson, inventor of the “jet” injector. To date, Brother’s Brother has helped provide more than $4 billion in medical supplies, textbooks, food, seeds and other humanitarian supplies to more than 140 countries. In 2011 alone, the organization furnished supplies for 270 medical and humanitarian mission trips.

Brother’s Brother does not coordinate volunteer medical professional trips overseas, but instead ensures that they have the supplies they need. If you wish to volunteer, you will need to choose one of the organizations Brother’s Brother supplies.

Find Lodgings and Guides

Work with churches and other volunteer programs in the area. Churches tend to have a great deal of influence within their communities. They often times will be able to find ways for your team to establish lodgings, translators and guides for your mission. You can also outreach to other volunteer organizations in these areas to help you find lodgings and translators.

It is important to have support from the local community once you arrive.

Safety Precautions and Education

This is one of the most important factors of creating your own team. The preparation and safety of your team is #1. The team must work to deeply educate themselves about the region they are expecting to deploy within. Create a list of safety issues and solutions to those issues.

Consider

 

 

Implement Service

A large number of the organizations in our sponsored and self-sponsored list permit groups to volunteer. Signing up as a group with one of these organizations is a great way to get your mission off the ground. Many organizations have minimum and maximum number of individuals permitted within each group.

Make sure you read over the rules of each organization that permits groups before applying to volunteer.

By thinking of all aspects of a mission, you can ensure that you have everything covered and can focus on the goal of the group and the mission.