Subscribe to Notes on Nursing, our monthly news digest.

Missionary Nurse

A Missionary Nurse works through a religious non-profit, or humanitarian group, providing physical care and spiritual support to patients in underdeveloped areas of the world.
Required education
Work on your own or even start your own practice, in some states.
Lead, guide and support other nurses so they can provide the best care.
Work hands-on, directly with patients.
Varied Work
Take on different tasks, patients, and situations every day.
You’ll help people who have limited access to basic healthcare and resources, such as modern medicine, vaccines and clean drinking water
Nursing bag, medication, and signs cartoon graphic
What you’ll do


You’ll teach people about proper health and dental care, hygiene, and disease prevention.


Along with physical care, you’ll provide spiritual reassurance to your patients and people in the community.


Your work will often continue when you return home, including raising awareness and money for medical supplies, schools and facilities for the communities you’ve worked in.


You’ll provide a wide variety of direct patient care, from giving vaccinations to treating illnesses and dressing wounds.

Where you’ll work
  • Missionary hospitals and clinics
  • Community centers
  • Churches
  • Schools
How to become a Missionary Nurse


Get an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

Take elective courses in international nursing and foreign languages.


Pass the NCLEX-RN and work as a Registered Nurse.


There isn’t a specific Missionary Nurse certification.

It will be helpful if you hold the Basic Life Support Certification from the American Heart Association or Red Cross.


You’re ready to work as a Missionary Nurse.

Join an Organization
Become a member of a Missionary Nurse organization to find career opportunities, learn from your colleagues, and support the profession.
A Nurse Attorney’s role is also managerial.
An International Nurse is another type of community nurse.
Group of smiling nurses in scrubs holding folders
Group of smiling nurses in scrubs holding folders
Subscribe to Notes on Nursing, our monthly news digest.
Explore issues of our monthly newsletter, which features the many ways nurses' innovation and leadership drive transformative change in healthcare.