Almost every nurse that you’ll meet out there will tell you that they entered this field to make a difference and help others. Some, however, want to take things further by not just caring for patients at home.
There are those who choose to take great lengths to help others by even traveling far and wide to provide not just physical care but care for their patients’ spiritual needs as well. These professionals are known as missionary nurses.
Thinking of becoming one? Learn more about this specialty below.
What is a Missionary Nurse?
Missionary nurses are nurses who are willing to give more to perform their sworn duty. They are willing to travel to those in need of medical attention in remote and underprivileged areas. They are also not just willing to provide physical care, but they also want to bring spiritual enlightenment to patients.
What these professionals do often count as humanitarian work as they focus their efforts on developing regions with little access to medical care. They also often believe that faith and healing go together.
What They Do
There are two main tasks for a missionary nurse. The first one is to provide physical care and medical attention to those who need it. The other one is to share their faith.
Doing the medical aspect of their job comes with a wide range of activities. As these professionals work in areas without proper medical facilities or services, they perform almost every task that they are capable of doing. They treat injuries and illnesses and educate the locals about how to avoid diseases for the most part.
The spiritual aspect of the job, on the other hand, involves a lot of communicating with the locals. It can also include manual labor as most missionaries also help in developing the area they’re serving.
Some missionary nurses also take part in raising awareness about the area they’re helping and funds for their needs.
Where They Work
These specialty nurses work in some of the farthest corners of the Earth. Instead of finding them in local hospitals and medical facilities, they’re treating patients in remote communities in developing regions.
How Much They Make
A lot of professionals who enter this line of work are not really in it for the money. It’s more of a calling or a passion project for some. Most just volunteer for the trip and don’t really earn from it.
Some organizations, however, actually hire professionals to help them out. Their offers vary largely, so there’s no estimate for the salary outlook of this specialty.
How to Become a Missionary Nurse
Becoming a missionary nurse might be one of the easiest things to accomplish. You just need to become a registered nurse and get ample clinical experience to get started. Once you found a religious non-profit organization or an outreach program that requires a nurse in their staffing, you can already get a travel assignment.
Experts say that it’s best to learn a few languages if you want to become a missionary nurse. Not all countries speak English, so if you want to communicate well with your patients, learning their tongue can help.
What Can You Expect in Being a Missionary Nurse?
Missionary nurses have varied experiences so it’s really hard to say what you should expect in becoming one. However, you can always expect it to be challenging, especially since it’s an entirely different culture and environment. The wide range of tasks can also be a bit overwhelming for some people.
However, it can also be a very rewarding job. The sense of accomplishments of being able to help others can really help you stay motivated despite the punishing nature of this profession.
Nursing Organizations Associated with Missionary Nurses
To receive support and help you improve further as a missionary nurse, you can join these associations:
Want a related specialty? Here are a few that you can consider:
- Camp Nursing
- Parish Nursing