15 Most Exciting International Nurse Practitioner Jobs
Written By: Andrea Mosher, CPNP, PMHS
The nursing role is widely accepted worldwide, but the advanced practice registered nurse is still in its infancy worldwide. So, can nurse practitioners work internationally? The simple answer is yes, but not every country recognizes the role of a nurse practitioner, or their role is not well defined. You may wonder then, what kinds of international jobs are available for nurse practitioners? Careers can range from the typical role of a nurse practitioner, to a consultant, to a teacher to even working for the United States government. In this article, you will find the 15 most exciting international nurse practitioner jobs.
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What Do You Need To Do To Apply For International Nurse Practitioner Jobs?
Similar to the varying scope of practice between states, the scope of practice can differ between countries. This means the requirements for international nurse practitioner job opportunities will also vary. Overall, there are four basic necessities for working overseas: a passport, a visa, a work permit, and destination language proficiency. Additionally, you may want to have a clear understanding of what role
you are looking for.
Other possible necessities for applying for an international job could be additional nurse practitioner licensing exams or even a statement of good standing from your state board of nursing. These are not necessary for all positions, but they may be a necessity in some countries.
Most of all, you need the patience to apply for international nurse practitioner jobs. It can take anywhere from six months to two years to obtain and approve all required paperwork.
WHAT KINDS OF INTERNATIONAL JOB OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR NURSE PRACTITIONERS?
(Following are the 15 most exciting International Nurse Practitioner Job Opportunities which you can pursue to take your career overseas.)
1. Foreign Service Medical Provider
A foreign service medical provider
is an international nurse practitioner job for the United States Department of State. Typically, these providers serve two overseas tours that are two years in duration. After that, they may serve one to three-year terms, either overseas or in the United States. Foreign service medical providers are sent to posts worldwide with significant health risks and inadequate local healthcare services.
As a foreign service medical provider, the nurse practitioner may practice independently or as part of a team, depending on their location
. The nurse practitioner is expected to provide direct primary/preventative care, acute care, and emergency care to adult and pediatric patients. Additionally, there is most likely a need for obstetric and gynecological care. Finally, the provider will act as a liaison to local and international experts.
To be eligible for a position with the U.S. Department of State, you must:
◦ Be a United States Citizen
◦ Be between the ages of 21 and 60 years old unless you are a preference-eligible veteran.
◦ Be licensed as a Family Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant in U.S. state or territory.
◦ Be able to obtain Top Secret Clearance
◦ Be able to obtain appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance
◦ Have five-year experience within the past seven years
To apply for a foreign service medical provider position, you must submit a resume in the USAJobs resume format. In addition to your resume, an online application must be completed as well as a narrative statement of interest. Finally, you must complete an accomplishment questionnaire and submit the required documentation.
2. International Volunteer
While this isn’t a paid international nurse practitioner job per se, it could be used as a stepping stone into a paid nurse practitioner opportunity. There are various international volunteer opportunities
on almost every continent of the world, and there are multiple companies that you can volunteer through.
While each country has its own eligibility criteria, each volunteer must have a clean criminal background, proof of their medical provider qualifications, and they typically must speak fluent English. Additionally, volunteers must be clear to travel internationally and have a passport or visa.
You must first find a legitimate and reputable global volunteer company to apply for an international volunteer position. After you find a company, pick a destination and a project to volunteer for. Typically you must pay a registration fee and a program fee when applicable.
3. International Locum Tenens
Overseas nurse practitioner jobs as a locum tenens
can take you to a variety of different countries. A tour as a locum tenens can last from a few weeks to a few years depending on the country’s need and health center. When working as an international locum tenens, your assignment is typically in an English-speaking first-world medical environment.
To be eligible to work one of these international nurse practitioner jobs, you must:
◦ Have a work visa, if you will be practicing outside of a United States territory
◦ Be board certified or board eligible
◦ Have post-grad training or three years of experience in a comparable health system (if applicable)
The application process is quite simple for an international locum tenens position. You would have to complete an online application and upload your resume or a curriculum vitae. If you are offered the position, additional documents and paperwork would need to be completed depending on the country you will be practicing in.
International nurse practitioner job opportunities with a locum tenens company typically have several benefits including but not limited to:
◦ Airfare stipend
◦ Housing stipend
◦ Ground transport stipend
◦ Malpractice insurance
4. World Health Organization
The World Health Organization (WHO) is another organization that offers international nurse practitioner jobs. However, working with the WHO
is not your typical inpatient or outpatient position. The WHO has four job areas including public health, management and leadership, operations, and emergency.
Within the job area, there are four main job categories: international professional staff, national professional officer, general services staff, and consultants and contract workers. If you are applying to any of the positions for the WHO you must be fluent in either English or French and it is beneficial if you can speak a second United Nations language. Some jobs do require that you are able to speak at least two to three languages.
Additionally, each category has its eligibility requirements. Each type is then broken down into levels, and each group has its eligibility requirements:
◦ The baseline requirements for international professional staff are one year of practical experience and a bachelor’s degree. To apply for the highest level, you must have 15 years of relevant experience and a master’s degree.
◦ The baseline requirements for a national professional officer are one year of practical experience and a bachelor’s degree, and to apply for the highest level, you must have seven years of relevant experience and a master’s degree.
◦ The baseline requirements for general services staff are two years of relevant experience and completing a technical or commercial program. To apply for the highest level, you must have ten years of practical experience and completed a technical or commercial program.
◦ The requirements for consultants and contract workers vary depending on the role.
To apply for a position at the WHO, you must create an online profile to apply and complete a self-assessment questionnaire. Additional forms and documentation will be necessary after the initial application process, but it is dependent on the position you have applied for.
There are two types of job appointments within the WHO. You may apply for a temporary assignment or a fixed-term appointment. Additionally, each position offers several benefits outside of an annual salary. You are pro-rated 30 days of leave annually, provided medical and dental insurance, and provided various grants and allowances.
5. United Nations
Working for the United Nations (UN) is similar to working with the WHO. The international nurse practitioner jobs available through the UN are more than likely not going to be your typical inpatient or outpatient positions. Roles are working with the health of the UN staff as well as working in various underserved countries.
While working for the UN
, there are also volunteer opportunities in other health and educational programming. Additionally, you could be part of the team that creates the health programming. Overall, there are so many opportunities and routes you can take working for the United Nations.
To be eligible to work for the United Nations, you must speak fluent English or French. It is beneficial to speak an additional UN language, but it is not a requirement. You must also have relevant job experience ranging from two years to fifteen years, depending on the position you are applying for. Most positions do require an advanced college degree, but there are some categories where a bachelor’s degree is accepted.
The application process for the UN is straightforward. You must first create an online profile and apply for the position you are interested in. After your application is submitted, it is evaluated, and if accepted, you will have to complete an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview. If you have completed all of those steps and you are chosen, you will be notified.
In addition to an annual salary, any non-volunteer position receives a retirement pension, health insurance, and holidays. Depending on the job, you may also receive hazard pay, hardship allowance, travel and shipping expense reimbursement, educational grants, assignment grants, rental subsidies, or a dependence allowance.
6. United States Agency for International Development
International nurse practitioner jobs with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) can be in Africa, Asia, Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, the Caribbean, or the Middle East. The Global Health Sector
of the USAID focuses on preventing maternal and child deaths, controlling the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and combating infectious diseases.
There are many requirements to be eligible to work for USAID. Similar to other nurse practitioner jobs overseas, there may be additional eligibility requirements specific to the job. The standard eligibility for most USAID jobs include:
◦ Being a United States citizen
◦ Being between 18 and 60 years of age
◦ Being in good health
◦ Being able to pass a rigorous physical assessment
◦ Being able to receive security clearance
◦ Willing to accept positions at any location
◦ Having a graduate degree
◦ Having experience working in a developing country or economically deprived U.S. community
To apply for a position with USAID, you must find the job you are interested in on the USAJobs.gov
website. For your application, you must complete an online application, upload your resume, answer an online questionnaire, and submit the required supporting documents.
7. Central Intelligence Agency
Most people picture the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as a group of spies placed worldwide, but would you believe they hire nurse practitioners too? In my opinion, this has to be one of the most exciting international nurse practitioner jobs out there!
As a nurse practitioner for the CIA, you are expected to provide medical and trauma care in any environment with limited medical supplies. You are also likely to transport your medical equipment from one location to another on foot. You will start your assignment in Washington D.C. but will be required to do a 6-month deployment at the beginning of your assignment, and at some point in your career with the CIA, you will do a one-year singleton deployment.
According to the CIA
, here are other expectations as a nurse practitioner:
◦ Establish and operate remote independent duty clinics
◦ Treat illness, injuries, and medical emergencies to include trauma stabilization
◦ Conduct physical examinations and interpretation of diagnostic testing
◦ Provide didactic and practical instruction in various levels of medical care to include survival skills, field medicine, and tactical combat casualty care
◦ Participate in medical planning
◦ Perform logistical and administrative functions
The eligibility criteria to work for the CIA is similar to that of other government jobs. To apply, you must be a United States citizen and at least 18 years of age. You must have your master’s degree as well as current licensure and certifications. A minimum of five years of experience in emergency medicine, internal medicine, or primary care is required. You must also be comfortable working in multicultural environments, willing to move to the Washington D.C. area, and willing to travel internationally.
The application process is more straightforward than would be expected for the CIA. First, you must be in the United States when you complete the online application. Additionally, you must provide your resume, unofficial transcripts from all of your degrees, and a copy of your certifications and licenses. Finally, you must provide at least one professional reference.
8. International Case Management
Case management is a vital asset to the U.S. healthcare system and for healthcare settings abroad. Case management is another international nurse practitioner job in which you may not do direct clinical work, instead you work for a health system or global insurance company.
International case managers are expected to coordinate complex medical cases in many unique circumstances within healthcare systems abroad. This means they are coordinating care with hospitals, clinics, specialty clinics, mental health facilities, dental clinics, and home health care where it is available. You would be responsible for not only scheduling appointments for your patients but also coordinating transportation, finding translation services if necessary, understanding billing, and wiring funds to providers if they require pre-payment. Additionally, you will be responsible for discharge planning for hospital admissions and repatriation coordination if necessary.
To be eligible to work as a case manager for an international company, you may not have to live in the country in which your patients are located. Some companies work via telephone or virtually, but some companies require that you see your patients face-to-face. You do not necessarily have to be a master’s prepared nurse practitioner. Some companies will accept registered nurses for these positions. You must be interested in national and global healthcare issues as well as international healthcare systems and insurance.
To apply for international case management, you would typically complete an online application, submit your resume, provide copies of your licenses and certifications. If you are traveling abroad, you must have a passport and or visa, depending on your destination.
9. Nursing Instructor
Working as an international nursing instructor is an attractive international nurse practitioner job because it can be done abroad or on domestic soil thanks to virtual learning. Additionally, nursing instructor positions can vary in duration as well. Depending on the job you take, your assignment can be as short as two weeks or as long as you want to remain an educator. The topics that you will be educating can vary as well.
International nursing educators can work at international colleges and universities or international clinics and hospitals. Working at a clinic or hospital, you would more than likely be educating professionals that are already nurses. This education provides new ideas on how to care for specific patient populations. If you choose to work at a university, you would likely teach students studying to become nurses.
To be eligible for international nurse practitioner jobs as a nursing instructor, you must be master’s or doctorate prepared. You must also have a current unencumbered license and have relevant experience in nursing education and nursing practice. If the position requires you to be present in the country, you must have a passport and a work visa. Additionally, you must pass a background check before being hired as a nursing instructor.
Each nursing instructor application process can vary depending on the employer, but the general application process is universal. You must complete an online application complete with your resume or curriculum vitae and your transcripts.
10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
International nurse practitioner jobs within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are not necessarily your typical clinical position. Working with the CDC requires you to focus on public health as a whole versus patients individually. Typically nurse practitioners focus on public health threats, launching public health programming, and studying new and emerging diseases.
According to the CDC
, you will be expected to “ensure that the organization’s strategic plan, mission, vision, and values are communicated to the team and integrated into the team’s strategies, goals, objectives, work plans, and work products and services.”
To be eligible for one of these nurse practitioner jobs overseas, you must:
◦ Be a U.S. citizen
◦ Pass a background check
◦ Have a valid graduate degree from an accredited program
◦ Have a current unrestricted license
◦ Have one year of specialized experience
The application process requires completing an online application and submitting your resume, cover letter, transcripts, and certifications. Additionally, you must complete a questionnaire. After you have submitted a complete application and are chosen to move forward in the hiring process, you will be contacted by a hiring manager. This process can take a month or longer, so it is essential to be patient!
11. Public Health Advisor
Similar to the international nurse practitioner jobs with the CDC, NPs can work as public health advisors for various agencies. These positions typically require a two-year assignment in an underdeveloped country or a country suffering from a public health crisis.
As a public health advisor, you will act as the head advisor overseeing public health programs abroad. Additionally, you are expected to analyze and interpret data that will be utilized to guide foreign legislative and regulatory policies related to public health programming. Public health advisors also create and implement health strategies to meet overseas health objectives.
To be eligible for this international nurse practitioner job, you must:
◦ Be a U.S. citizen
◦ Pass a background check
◦ Be eligible for secret or top-secret clearance
◦ Have one year of specialized experience
Applying for public health advisor position is relatively simple. You must submit an online application with your resume and cover letter attached.
Benefits for public health advisors typically include an annual salary, annual leave, relocation incentives, recruitment incentives, flexible spending accounts, and health, vision, dental and life insurances.
12. United States Military Bases
Working as a nurse practitioner on a United States military base does not require enlisting in a military branch. They do hire civilian NPs to work in their clinics and hospitals. You will use clinical judgment to provide direct patient care to patients on base. You will have the ability to practice independently, with the ability to collaborate with physicians and a multidisciplinary team.
To be eligible to work international nurse practitioner jobs on a U.S. military base you must:
◦ Be a United States citizen
◦ Have a master’s of science in nursing
◦ Have a current unencumbered license
◦ Have six months of full-time experience in NP specialty
◦ Have twelve months of full-time RN experience
◦ Be between 18-47 years of age; each branch has its age restrictions
◦ Complete a commissioned officer training
◦ Be eligible for secret security clearance
Applying for a civilian position on a military base can be completed on USAJob.gov
. Each application requires the submission of an online application with a complete resume attached. Additionally, similar to other government jobs, you must complete an assessment questionnaire.
13. Consulting for International Companies
Consulting for an international company is one of the most versatile international nurse practitioner jobs. As a consultant, you will utilize your medical and nursing expertise to help pharmaceutical companies, medical technology companies, and medical supply companies create more effective and efficient products.
To be eligible to work as a consultant, you must have completed an MSN program and have a valid license. You don’t need to be a U.S. citizen, but you will need a valid passport and work visa, depending on the country. Additionally, you must have a comprehensive understanding of the illness, treatment, or medication you will consult on. Some companies do require that you are proficient in speaking and writing English.
Similar to the variety of opportunities available for nurse practitioners working as consultants, there are various ways to apply for international consulting positions. Some companies will have an online application process other companies you may have to reach out to and provide pitch ideas.
Working as a consultant for international pharmaceutical or medical companies allows you to have freedom in your schedule and creating your career from the ground up. These opportunities offer the chance to travel internationally and high pay potential.
With the expansion of telemedicine over the past few years, international medical care is expanding as well. A perk of working in global telehealth is you have the opportunity to help underserved populations worldwide without having to travel internationally. An obvious drawback of international telemedicine is getting the technology to more remote areas of the world.
To apply to one of these international nurse practitioner jobs, you must first have an MSN and a valid NP license. You must also pass a background check. Additionally, depending on the country where you will be providing healthcare services, you may also need a work visa. Another requirement to work in telehealth is private access to high-speed internet.
You must submit an online application at your selected company and provide a complete resume with references to apply for a telehealth position. The application process for international telehealth is similar to the application process for a domestic job.
15. Overseas Licensing
If you are interested in making your international job opportunity more long-term or even permanent overseas, licensing may be right for you! The challenge of being licensed overseas is finding a country that recognizes the role of a nurse practitioner. While most governments recognize the role of an RN, the APRN position has not quite caught on globally.
The eligibility to apply for an international clinical NP position has many variables. Some countries require additional board testing or residency-type programs. Many countries may want you to become a citizen of their country to obtain a license. There is not a consensus of eligibility for international nurse practitioner jobs.
There are many resources available if you are interested in getting your NP license abroad. The International Council of Nurses
can provide further information as well as the AANP
What Are The Pros Of Taking Up International Nurse Practitioner Jobs?
Below are the 5 advantages of taking up international NP jobs.
1. You get to live an adventurous lifestyle.
2. You will have a variety of life and professional experiences.
3. They typically have great pay and benefits.
4. You will create an international professional network.
5. You have the opportunity to help an underserved community or population.
What Are The Cons Of Taking Up International Nurse Practitioner Jobs?
Below are the 5 disadvantages of taking up international NP jobs.
1. Travel logistics and licensing can be tricky.
2. You may be stationed in dangerous locations.
3. You will spend a lot of time away from family and friends.
4. You will have to maintain domestic and international paperwork.
5. Traveling can be lonely.
How Much Do International Nurse Practitioners Make?
The range of international nurse practitioner salary and compensation packages varies widely across the different job options. Like their domestic counterparts
, the salary and benefits package depends on the employer and how much nurse practitioner experience a candidate has. Salaries can roughly range from $95,000 annually to $150,000 annually. The only outlier would be working as a consultant, as they can make up to $190,000 annually.
My Final Thoughts
As a nurse practitioner that has provided care internationally, I would say it was one of the most rewarding, most eye-opening, and most incredible learning experiences I have had thus far. If you are interested in taking your medical and nursing expertise abroad, you no longer have to wonder what kinds of international jobs are available for nurse practitioners. There are many opportunities, but here are the 15 most exciting nurse practitioner jobs that I have come across.
Andrea Mosher, CPNP, PMHS
Andrea Mosher, CPNP, is a primary care pediatric nurse practitioner with a variety of nursing experience. She has worked in medical-surgical, emergency departments, urgent care and primary care pediatrics.