If you are considering which career to study for, or are thinking about switching careers into something new, then nursing is a great career path for a lot of reasons. It is interesting, varied, and rewarding, there is a huge range of specialisms and career paths, and at senior levels, it can be very well paid.
It can also be very easy to get on the path to becoming a nurse, where online nursing degrees, even for the highest-level qualifications in nursing, are readily available as online courses where you can do all or most of the studying at home. These courses also help you get set up with a work placement in an area of your choice, to allow you to complete the work experience and clinical hours needed to become qualified. Even if you are already a nurse and want to take your career further, you can access things like Baylor University’s online DNP FNP program and become a highly sought-after Family Nurse Practitioner.
With nursing being such a great choice of career with so much potential, it is no surprise that it is also one of the best careers to choose if you don’t want to stay in one country for your whole working life. Here we look at why becoming a nurse or gaining higher-level nursing qualifications is a great choice for people who love the idea of working overseas:
A Desirable Career for Visas and Work Permits
Wherever you live right now, if your ambition is to move to another country and have a career there, or you like the idea of traveling around and living in lots of different places during your life, there are certainly some careers that make this easier to do than others. For many countries, you will need a work permit to be allowed to work there, and a specific type of visa to be able to stay and work long term. If you later intend to aim to become a citizen of another country or get the equivalent of a green card to live and work there long-term, you will also need to meet certain criteria, which with the immigration policies of a lot of countries, will take into account what kind of skills you bring into the country and what work you can do to support yourself.
This is understandable, as many countries have skills gaps in certain fields, and want to encourage people with the skills and qualifications to work in those roles in their communities. Healthcare is an area where there are always skills gaps, whether in the whole country or certain regions. This makes nursing credentials especially good for people who want to work overseas. Whether you get a position in advance and have your new employer sponsor you to move, or you go over on a shorter-term visa and look for work there, applying to stay once you’ve found a position, nursing is one of the most useful career paths to be on if you like the idea of being able to move around the world as a professional.
Naturally, there are different qualifications and requirements in different countries, and you may need to take some extra tests or be able to speak the local language to a provable level of fluency, but in general, you should find emigrating as a nurse easier than in most other professions.
Charity Work and Non-Profits
Another reason why nursing can be a great choice if you want to see more of the world during your working life is that nurses are always in demand for non-profit and charity work overseas. This can include working in new hospitals set up in third world countries or poor areas of developing countries and educating people in poor areas about health, nutrition, and other things nurses have a lot of knowledge around. It can also include disaster relief, where extra medical professionals are needed to help people when natural disasters strike around the world.
While these kinds of work are organized by charities and non-profits, the professionals that help are not always required to work voluntarily for free, and so this can be a viable way to support yourself while spending time traveling. Naturally, the organization you are working with will help when it comes to logistics, like entry to the country and accommodation when you are there.
As you might expect, this kind of work can be extremely rewarding, as you can improve people’s lives very significantly or help them cope with devastating situations, as well as broaden your own experience of the world.
Travel While Studying
One of the great things about being able to study for nursing qualifications online is that you can do it from anywhere with a good internet connection. This means that if you want to spend some of the time as a student, before your clinical placement, traveling around and seeing different countries, perhaps with your mind on where you might like to live and work someday, then this is entirely possible. You can study on planes, trains, and at airports, and even cheap accommodation in many parts of the world can include internet access – or you can use tethering with your mobile to access the internet on your laptop wherever you can get a good signal. This can be a great idea if you have a certain country in mind and want to spend some time there immersing yourself in the culture and language (if you don’t already speak it), ready to make the move there once you are qualified to work there as a nurse.
As you can see, there are lots of reasons why people who like the idea of living somewhere very different choose nursing as a career – there are also plenty of other reasons why nursing is a great job even if you want to stay close to home, but for people with wanderlust, it is a hard career path to beat!