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INGO nursing jobs

May 4, 2017

Q. Hi Nick,

First of all, thank you for your blog and your insights. I’m a 25 years old nurse from Belgium with a specialization in community health. I worked in several countries, for example, in Guatemala with homeless youth in Guatemala City, Burkina Faso in a rural clinic center, in Belgium with homeless adults/families/asylum seekers etc. and for now, I am working as a medical case manager for homeless youths based in New Jersey in the United States.

I completed certificates in International Humanitarian Law with the CICR and a Humanitarian Healthcare Provider Program. I really want to work in relief and development, which is my goal since I’m 16. But it feels like most of the NGOs are looking for a project/program manager, media communication officer, monitoring, and evaluation specialist etc. not a nurse. What should I do? Getting more professional experience as a nurse then do the tropical medicine course of should I do a master in project management or others?

Thank you

A. Hi Marjorie,

Thanks for the kind words – first off I just want to let people know that there’s a new way to support this blog (other than buying my ebook!) – you can make a contribution through Patreon – it really helps me to offset the costs of running the site when people kick in the cost of a cup of coffee!

Ok – to your question – it sounds like you have the kinds of qualifications that a medical agency would be looking for in deploying nurses – and I’d be interested to hear about which organizations you’re targeting. My suspicion is that you’re looking at the general job listings for international agencies and noticing that most of them are not for nurses?

That’s certainly true – most agencies don’t field front-line medical teams, and of those that do, most jobs are not nursing. That said, there are a few that do. Since you’re in the US I would check out MSF (check out my interview with MSF Canada’s recruiters here), IMC, and the ICRC as a start. All of these groups recruit nurses for field postings. I would see if you can get one of their recruiters to chat with you about what specific requirements they want from nurses, and whether your resume stacks up in that regard.

As to whether you should do a Masters in Project Management, that sort of depends on how passionate you are about project management. Mid career that might not be a bad move if you really want to get out of nursing and move into line management, but at this point I wouldn’t advise you to quit looking for nursing positions.

Let us know how you do!



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