International nursing placements: How can they broaden your career prospects?

Following the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, it’s safe to say that nurses are in demand almost everywhere. Therefore, it is also safe to assume there will always be opportunities for nursing students to find placements overseas. Beyond getting to experience a new part of the world, what are the overriding benefits for future nurses working beyond the US?

As a nurse, you’re entering a world of exciting variety and challenge. When you add international placements to your studies, you’re embracing new cultures and looking beyond how one territory manages its healthcare. For many nurses, spreading one’s wings is a great way to gain a clearer idea of what practices and patients expect.

Here is a look at some of the major reasons seeking a nursing placement abroad can be so beneficial for students.

It’s a great resume booster

If you are serious about upgrading your nursing career to its maximum potential, working in overseas placements is a great way to show recruiters that you care about the profession and where it takes you.

While you can gain plenty of useful experience and insight working in the US, taking on international work will help your resume stand out from the pack once you graduate. You could spend a year working as a nurse in Europe, Africa, or Asia, and return with an impressive series of experiences you can highlight to healthcare recruiters.

You’ll be able to draw on a variety of interesting challenges to demonstrate your skills and passion for the industry.

It’s a good way to learn new techniques

You will undoubtedly learn and build on a wealth of skills in your home studies. For example, if you study nursing and health systems leadership at the University of Indianapolis, you’ll learn how to work with constantly evolving healthcare systems. The online course provided by UIndy is a great starting point.

From there, you can search for new placements abroad to help expand your skill set. It’s likely that hospitals and clinics based on other continents will follow different measures and use different setups, which means you’ll hit the ground running by building up excellent systems knowledge from home.

Once again, learning new techniques abroad will help you boost your resume with recruiters from all over the world. You’ll be demonstrating your passion for learning everything there is to know about nursing.

You’ll learn new language skills and adapt to new cultures

When you start working abroad, you’ll not only assimilate to a new workplace but also to a whole new culture and language. Therefore, you’ll likely start to develop new communication skills shortly after arriving. Of course, it pays to learn the basics before you travel.

The way that healthcare is delivered in Europe is often very different from how it is delivered in the US. Although this will require some adjustment on your part, you’ll add cultural adaptation to your set of skills.

By appreciating new cultures and how different healthcare systems manage patient expectations, you’ll show future recruiters that you’re highly adaptable. The more cultures you dive into, the more doors you’ll open.

Of course, it is always wise to show cultural sensitivity and let your fellow medical staff lead the way.

You’ll build confidence

Working and studying in a new country can be a huge confidence booster. You’ll have the thrill of exploring somewhere new, but you’ll also experience the joy of helping patients who speak different languages – and who you may not expect to treat back home in the US.

The further you travel and the more culture you soak up, the more confident you’ll be in applying for international positions and technical roles as your career progresses. While heading overseas to a nursing placement may seem scary at first, once you’re in the thick of a new healthcare environment, you’ll be thriving on the challenge.

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