How to Become A Missionary Nurse

When Claire was young, she would often tell everyone that she wanted to become a nun. She liked going to church and sharing her faith and religious beliefs with others. But as the years went by, instead of pursuing her initial dream, she found herself joining the bandwagon and entered nursing school, which isn’t a problem since as nurses, you also cater to the spiritual needs of your patients.

Now that she has finally graduated, she finds herself wanting to pursue a specialization in nursing that is very much close to her initial dream, thus becoming interested in Missionary Nursing. But what exactly do missionary nurses do and how can an aspirant become one? Let’s find out.

Getting to Know Missionary Nurses

Missionary nurses are those nurses who provide physical and spiritual care to people in other countries that need healthcare. They treat the illnesses and diseases of patients from other cultures, while sharing religion since they tend to believe faith and healing go hand-in-hand.

The work for Missionary Nurses often does not end when they return home, but includes raising awareness and money for medical supplies, clean water, schools and medical facilities in the countries where they’ve served.

Not only do missionary nurses work to meet health care needs, they also return to the states to raise awareness and funds for much-needed projects going on in foreign countries, such as digging clean water wells, building schools and teaching impoverished communities viable job skills.

As missionary nurses, your responsibility is to share your faith, setup clinics in under-served areas where they not only meet health care needs as well as educate the patients on proper health and dental care. These nurses typically receive their support from churches and other nonprofit organizations.

How much you can earn

Missionary nurses normally don’t go into this line of work to make a lot of money and a lot of them work on a volunteer and temporary basis as missionary nurses while others are given only a regular salary to cover basic living expenses.

Furthermore, missionary nurses earn different salaries depending on the financial strength of the church or nonprofit organization that is sending them.

How to become one

This nursing specialization may appear appealing to those who wish to care for the sick and share their faith as well. Below are the steps on how one can become a missionary nurse.

For one to become a missionary nurse, you should first complete an approved nursing education program and get your Nursing Diploma, Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). After graduation, you then need to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) exam to become licensed to practice nursing.

After such, you need to gain hospital experience as you start working as a Registered Nurse. Then, you have to find a religious non-profit organization or a missionary outreach team to coordinate a travel assignment, so, it is useful to become fluent in the language of the host country. Many missionary nurses have seminary training or some other form of religious training.

After surpassing all these steps, you can finally achieve your dream of being called a missionary nurse.


Liane Clores, RN MAN

Currently an Intensive Care Unit nurse, pursuing a degree in Master of Arts in Nursing Major in Nursing Service Administration. Has been a contributor of Student Nurses Quarterly, Vox Populi, The Hillside Echo and the Voice of Nightingale publications. Other experience include: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Obstetric, Emergency and Recovery Room Nursing.

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