Be the change you want to see in the world. ~ Ghandi

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Healing Beyond Borders - One Nurse At A Time

     Travel and working abroad have a way of stretching us. As our awareness of a wider world and other traditions expands, so does our capacity for compassion and love. As nurses and nurse practitioners , when we experience working in a new and different environment—perhaps with fewer resources than what we are accustomed to—we learn “up close and personal” how others live and provide health care, however meager it may be. We adapt our practices to fit within the culture and the resources available to us. Our nursing framework of ideal practices has to be put aside and replaced with the need to do what we can with what we have.
     Recently, while serving as editor for Kaplan Publishing’s anthology, Nurses Beyond Borders: True Stories of Heroism and Healing around the World, I was privileged to read hundreds of stories written by nurses who have served in the arena of international health care. And, while I could only choose 25 of their wonderful stories to be included in the book, I recognized that each of them was undeniably a very special person who reached out eagerly—though not necessarily without fear—for new, rich experiences.
     One contributor’s commitment to nursing and passion for global health struck a particular chord with me. This “angel of mercy” has not only served numerous times abroad herself, but she also helped found the nonprofit organization One Nurse At A Time (ONAAT), which has a mission to assist other nurses and NPs in enhancing our profession as they, too, look for opportunities to serve locally, nationally, and internationally.  Read all about how ONAAT began and what we are doing to support nurses an to bring an awareness of what it means to be a 'Humanitarian Nurse 

Reprinted with permission, NP World News, Nov/Dec 2010,, NP Communications, LLC