Nursing is one of the most demanding industries, with long hours and high competition for skilled and reliable workers. Participating in nursing internships abroad gives students a competitive advantage over their peers, by exposing them to different practices and environments in the healthcare industry, as well as giving them the chance to improve foreign language skills specific to the industry. Completing a nursing internship abroad is a much needed stepping stone to any future career in the field, whether at home or abroad.
Why Intern Abroad in Nursing
Nursing internships abroad provide students with opportunities to both explore specializations and gain work experience in a variety of healthcare systems. Most nursing internship placements are in a specific field (i.e. pediatrics, surgery, etc.) creating a good opportunity for nursing students to focus on one area of medicine, and see if it is what they thought it was. Nursing internships abroad tend to vary greatly, from hospitals to clinics to field work, allowing interns to work in all environments and get to know healthcare standards that differ from the U.S. All of this work experience abroad will greatly benefit interns when seeking future employment and competing for jobs in the health care industry.
It is possible to find nursing internships abroad around the globe. Depending on where you choose to intern abroad, you will be exposed to a variety of medical settings. In developed countries and urban areas, most nursing internship placemeents will be in a hospital setting, while rural or developing nations will offer the opportunity to intern in field clinics or education centers.
Nursing internships in Ghana oftern provide itnerns with the opportunity to work in local hospitals. In Ghana, hospital conditions will be much different than Western standards. Some hospitals may have traditional facilities and amenities, while others will be set up in the field or in a small community-based building. Likewise, the standards of cleanliness will differ widely and availability of supplies will change frequently. Learning to adapt to unique conditions as a nursing intern in Ghana will be invaluable experience for future nurses.
Argentina offers many nursing intern abroad programs in both English and Spanish, allowing students to hone foreign language skills. Many nursing internships in Argentina involve community education, specifically in the realm of nutrition and public health policy. Public speaking skills and day-to-day workplace immersion are key benefits of participating in nursing internships in Argentina.
China is home to many unique medical practices. Hospitals that utilize Western medicine exist, as do facilities that use Eastern style techniques. Nursing internships in China are available in pharmaceuticals as well as in public health education. While Chinese is rarely required to inern in China, there will be plenty of opportunities to practice one of the world’s most desired languages while interning in the Middle Kingdom.
If you are interested in learning about crisis management, while also working in an industrial hospital setting, South Africa has incredible nursing internship opportunities that will allow you to gain both perspectives. Home to many HIV/AIDs treatment and management facilities, interns can work on the front lines of controlling and studying one of the world’s largest epidemics.
Nursing Internships Abroad
There are literally hundreds of nursing internships abroad, located on nearly every continent, in a variety of languages, and in nearly every specialty. Nursing interns may find themselves working in hospitals, although it is also very possible to work in labs or for government agencies.
Interning in a hospital setting can be a great way to gain professional experience that is easily translated into a nursing career in the U.S. Nurses who intern in hospitals abroad can even work in settings that are reserved for more skilled workers domestically; for example, nursing students may have opportunities to work in operating rooms while interning abroad, which typically requires special training and certification in the United States.
If you are more interested in experiencing different health care practices, working in a rural health clinic is a great way to experience the local culture while also working with facilities that differ from traditional hospital settings. The available technology may vary greatly, and the disease and conditions you treat may not be unusual in more developed countries.
Public health education is perhaps one of the most popular types of nursing internships abroad. Working to help teach communities about basic health care practices, from maternity issues to birth control or even basic hygiene, there are lots of skillsets that nursing interns can share in an international setting.
Interns can apply throughout the year, with most nursing internship opportunities abroad being offered on a rolling basis. The length of nursing internships abroad typically range from one to twelve weeks. While most placements in public health education are not competitive, research and hospital work may be screened a bit closer. Previous hospital and volunteer experience may be advantageous for securing one of these positions.
Language acquisition. Medical vocabulary is often unique and not taught in most foreign language classes. Immersion working in an international environment can help develop this skillset.
Various technology, environments, and standards. While many modern medical techniques have been developed in the U.S. and taught worldwide, there are a variety of other methods still used globally. Nursing students hoping to work abroad can develop an understanding of alternative practices by participating in nursing internships abroad.