Can you tell this chilly weather has me cooped up and itching for adventure? Earlier this week I wrote about some exciting upcoming continuing medical education opportunities for nurse practitioners. But what if you want to be a bit more selfless with your time? One of the amazing things about the NP profession is the versatility it offers both professionally and personally. Here are some unique volunteer experiences available to nurse practitioners hoping to use their profession to help others both locally and internationally.
1. Doctors Without Borders
Working in nearly 70 countries, this organization provides care to individuals in medically underserved areas. Doctors without Borders is much more than a week long volunteer experience. They request that nurse practitioners serve for a minimum of 9 to 12 months and have at least two years of relevant experience. Round-trip transportation as well as a small monthly salary are provided. This intensive international experience promises to stretch you both personally and professionally.
2. Coalition of Community Health Clinics
Looking for something less intensive than a year-long commitment? The Coalition of Community Health Clinics posts local volunteer opportunities for medical providers hoping to work with medically underserved individuals closer to home. The site lists opportunities such as “Project Erase Tattoo Removal” for providers in Oregon and “The Wallace Medical Concern” a program providing urgent care to uninsured patients.
3. Mercy Ships
Combine world cruise with medical volunteerism and you get Mercy Ships. This floating hospital travels the world providing free, basic health care as well as transformative surgeries. Not only does Mercy Ships recruit medical providers, they also require other types of volunteers for tasks like cooking and running the ship. If you and your non-medical significant other would like to volunteer together, this may be just the place.
This site offers a database of medical volunteer opportunities both local and international from helping staff a free clinic in Richmond, Virginia to providing medical care among remote populations living in the Amazon. Whatever the criteria of your volunteer experience, HealthCareVolunteer.com likely has an opportunity to fit.
MedicalMissions.org connects medical volunteers with medical missions opportunities across the globe. If you are looking to add a faith-based twist to your travel, this is just the place to look. From dermatological missions in Belize to birthing babies in Bangladesh these week long trips are convenient for most schedules while still offering international medical involvement.
Have you used your nurse practitioner skills to help medically underserved populations? Tell us about your experience!