What Is A Missionary Nurse?
A missionary nurse is someone that is trained in both the spiritual and physical needs of people. They are sent to other countries to help those that are in urgent need of care. Missionary nurses not only treat the physical ailments of people with illnesses or injuries. They are also trained to share their beliefs and faith with them as well. These nurses believe deeply that faith and healing work together hand in hand.
What Education Is Needed For Missionary Nursing?
The first step in training to become a missionary nurse would be to become certified in an approved nursing program in the U.S. Typically, this is done through getting either a bachelors or associates degree as a nurse from an accredited school. In rare occasions, a diploma for nursing may be given through working with a hospital.
While attaining your nursing degree, it is also helpful to take courses on international health care. Once a degree is completed, all nurses looking to work as missionary nurses must take and pass an exam. This exam is the NCLEX or the National Council Licensure Exam. Though the process will differ from country to country, a missionary nurse will also need to follow all regulations that are required from the host country to practice nursing. A work visa will also be required.
Many missionary nurses will work with religious nonprofit charities and organizations and travel with a group to a host country. Seminary and other religious training is also important to those trying to become a missionary nurse. Though it is not necessary, it can also be very helpful to learn the language of a host country as well.
Where Do Missionary Nurses Work And What Is The Work Like?
Most missionary nurses will use their skills helping out in third-world countries. To most it is not just a job, it is a calling. Along with meeting the health care needs of individuals, they will also do work in the states to help raise awareness about help needed in foreign countries. This can include well digging for clean water to building much needed schools.
Missionary nurses will also help to set up clinics and educate patients regarding proper nutrition and dental care to those that are living in underdeveloped countries. Support for nurses that do missionary work is usually received from nonprofit organizations and churches.
Job Outlook And Average Salary
The demand for missionary nurses to help in third-world countries is great. Even in more developed areas of those countries these nurses are in great need. Unfortunately, there is not always a lot of money to be made in this type of work. Many of these types of nurses don’t even do this for the money and will do it on a volunteer or temporary basis. Depending on the institution that backs them, a missionary nurse could possibly make between $50-70,000 annually.
Other Nursing Jobs Similar To Missionary Nursing
Once you have your nursing degree, there are many fields that can be gone into besides missionary nursing. A couple other similar nursing jobs are transcultural nursing and parish nursing. Transcultural nursing is done with a specific focus on care that is culturally sensitive. It focuses on the difference in a patients’ beliefs, culture, religious practices and values and how each of those affect their approach to healing, illnesses, diseases and even death.
A parish nurse is another faith based type of nursing. Their faith is directly combined with their nursing practices. They work as a link between churches and health care systems and generally are hired to work as part of a church’s staff to provide medical care to the church members.