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Be the Change You Want to See: Humanitarian Benefits of Becoming a Nurse

The desire to travel and a nursing degree gives rise to many humanitarian opportunities. These opportunities, while typically unpaid, provide nurses with a unique experience to help those who are much less fortunate. Some examples include providing medical care and vaccinations in third world countries, caring for those injured in natural disasters, and traveling to African villages to help educate the communities about contraception and HIV/AIDS prevention. Nurses are especially helpful during disasters and disease outbreak because of their medical skills and experience in care giving.

When nurses go on a humanitarian mission and volunteer their time and effort, they are working toward a larger cause, often on a global scale. This is a unique opportunity to become involved in something much larger than oneself. Helping those who are in dire need is extremely rewarding. A nursing career can become much more satisfying if one dedicates a portion of his or her time to such volunteer work. Such humanitarian work also has more practical benefits beyond the emotional rewards of doing selfless work for those in need. Work with a charity or relief organization looks great on a resume, and helps nurses to become more well-rounded. In addition, some opportunities allow nurses to immerse themselves in foreign cultures and to make personal connections with people that may change lives and result in long-term friendships.

A nurse who performs humanitarian work is likely to have a more rewarding career. Volunteer opportunities can be found in one’s local community as well as abroad, where resources and nurses are in short supply. Doing humanitarian work for those truly in need and suffering may give nurses are greater appreciation of not only their profession, but also of humanity. These experiences are likely to provide a chance to help others in a unique situation and a new perspective on life.

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