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Nursing Missions: Everything You Need to Know Before You Go

  • Do you have a passion to serve others? Do you love experiencing new and diverse cultures? Look no further than a nursing mission.
  • Nursing missions are a great opportunity for nurses to utilize their clinical skills, expertise, and compassion by providing care to those in medically under-served areas.
  • If this all sounds great so far, Nursing CE Central has the latest information on requirements, organizations now accepting applications, and factors to consider when searching for the best nursing missions! Check it out!
Morgan Curry, RN/BSN

Morgan Curry, BSN / RN

Intensive Care, Outpatient Surgery, Aesthetics, Education, and Nursing Leadership

April 22, 2021
Simmons University

Nurses dedicate their lives to care for those in need.  

A great way to continue this act of service is through nursing missions which allow nurses an opportunity to utilize their clinical skills, compassion for others, and expertise in their field to serve medically underdeveloped populations across the world. 

Are you a nurse interested in volunteering for a nursing mission? Maybe, you’re not sure what to expect? Keep reading!  

What are Nursing Missions?  

Nursing missions are volunteer-based, national and international programs that revolve around medical personnel and healthcare advocates providing services and education to under-served areas. 

Currently, there is a huge need for medical and nursing mission volunteers. Some of the outreach efforts specifically related to nursing missions include: 


ICU care  

Surgical care  

Disaster relief and emergency response 

Community and public health services 

Women and children’s services 

Mental health services 

Are There Specific Requirements? 

Since nursing missions are volunteer based, there are few specific requirements needed to apply.  

A popular philanthropic volunteering abroad organization, Volunteering Solutions (VolSol), says that the basic requirements for those looking to participate in nursing missions are as follows: 

  • Must have a medical/ clinical background or must be enrolled in medical studies. 
  • Must be 18 years old or above (17 is allowed on case-by-case terms). 
  • Must be enthusiastic and adaptive. 
  • Must be eager to learn and open-minded to work in a group, assisting & following the instructions of the professionals. 

So, whether you’re a student nurse just beginning your career, or a seasoned professional in the field, nursing missions are open to everyone who is looking to gain a once-in-a-lifetime clinical experience serving others.  

However, don’t start packing your bags quite yet, because there are a few factors you should consider before you catch that next flight out of your city 

nursing missions are great way to expand your clinical knowledge

Factors to Consider Before Signing Up: 


Remember that nursing missions are volunteer opportunities and are often run by non-profit organizations, so you will be responsible for the cost of the trip. Some of the more established programs will have an all-inclusive fee, which can include transportation upon arrival, lodging, food, tips for services, and, in some cases, translation services. However, you are also responsible for covering your flights, passport, baggage, vaccinations, and COVID-related fees.  


Although each organizations nursing missions vary, trips can be as short as three days and up to 24-weeks based on your preference. 


Before you get too excited, you need to ask yourself: 

‘Am I able to leave my family?’ ‘Am I willing to sacrifice my vacation time for a nursing mission?’


How Do I Get involved? Can I Go Soon? 

To get involved in nursing missions, there are several non-profit, humanitarian organizations you can register with. Here are a few of the most popular: 

  • International Volunteer HQ: Accepting rolling applications, NOW! 
  • Project Hope: Accepting rolling applications for both national and international trips, NOW 
  • MEDICO: Has postponed Summer 2021 trips due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but still accepting rolling applications for when restrictions are lifted.  


If you have always had a heart for nursing, serving others, and immersing yourself into diverse cultural experiences, then what are you waiting for? Take the plunge and try out a nursing mission – you will not regret it! It will change you, your outlook on life, and the way you care for your patients 

Take a burden, give a blessing.  

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