I am an RN with eight years of hospital experience. My specialties are emergency department and labor and delivery. I am looking to go in a different direction and have always dreamed of providing nursing care in a third world country I feel I am ready to commit to this. I applied to the Peace Corps, but found out that I wont be able to work under my license. I could work as a health volunteer only. I also applied to Doctors Without Borders, but the applicant pool is very competitive and they only accept a small amount of Americans. If I work for the Peace Corps for two years, how would this affect my ability to become employed when I return?
Wants to be a Peace Corp Volunteer
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Wants to be a Peace Corp Volunteer,
If this is something you want to do and have always dreamed of, then I would say go for it. There are no guarantees either way for when you finish up, so you can’t focus on that. Gen. Douglas MacArthur said, “There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity.”
The job market for nurses in the U.S. is evolving as we speak. The jobs are shifting out of the hospital into alternative inpatient and outpatient settings. No one knows for sure what the market will be like in two years. So follow your heart and make that dream come true.
Anything can happen in the next two years meaning you may find yet another direction to go in with your career based on your volunteer and travel experience. Having Peace Corps experience is viewed very positively by most employers and will make a great addition to your resume, not to mention your life.
I did contact the Peace Corps for more information about opportunities for nurses within the organization. In addition to being a health volunteer, you also might want to look into something new the Peace Corps offers a special one-year commitment for healthcare professionals within the Global Health Service Partnership. Here are some related links to learn more:
Global Health Service Partnership:
Video about the GHSP program:
GHSP program launch announcement:
GHSP 2014 application opening announcement:
The representative I spoke with said to be sure you speak to your regional Peace Corps recruiter about this and other opportunities. Find your area recruiter at www.peacecorps.gov/meet.