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Missions and Credentialing
Many factors go into determining team composition and it’s important to understand how the process works. When a team is being built, the local country foundation is asked what the needs are. When they have determined how many nurses from the Region will be available, the Resource Countries are then asked to submit their nurses per specialty. Once Regional and Resource Countries have submitted their requests, then the Program Coordinators will start filling the open positions with American and Canadian nurses. We have a very large database so you can see how coveted mission spots can be. 

 Due to the back log of nurses waiting to get on their first mission, it was decided approximately 2 years ago that Clinical Coordinators should no longer go in their own specialty. CCs have the ability to attend  as many missions in the CC role as their work schedules allow. Non-CC nurses can go on up to two missions per fiscal year, with no guarantee of even getting one mission, so if a CC is going as a CC and also in her specialty, that further decreases the missions available for those nurses still waiting for their first mission.

We currently have about 40 nurses who applied in 2010/2011 and have never been on a mission. We are working diligently with the Program Coordinators to get those nurses placed first on missions and they are doing a great job! In addition to those 40 nurses, there are approximately another 100 nurses from 2012 to 2014 and more applications continue to come in daily. It is important to continue to build our database to ensure sustainability for years to come.

To continue to build teams with newly credentialed and experienced nurses, it’s important for you to be aware of the following:
1)      The Fiscal Year is from July 1st to June 30th. Nurses have the opportunity to go on up to 2 missions per fiscal year, but please be aware that there is no guarantee of that! My advice is that if you are offered a mission and are available, take it. You might not get the opportunity later.
2)      All nurses are credentialed in one specialty only. You are credentialed for either OR, RR, PP (which includes) PP/nights.  If you are unsure of which area you were credentialed in, please contact Connie Chiles at and she can let you know your credentialed specialty. PP nurses are the only nurses who have the opportunity to work the night shift. If you are a RR credentialed nurse, you do not have the opportunity to ask for PP or nights on missions and vice versa if you are a PP/night nurse.
3)      If you want to switch specialties, please submit a current resume indicating 2 current, consecutive years in that specialty. If qualified, you will be approved for the change. It is important to know that once you change specialties, that will be your permanent placement and you will not be able to do missions in your previously credentialed area.
4)      Once you have done 2 missions, please do not continue to email the Program Coordinators asking to be assigned to more. They are working very hard to be fair so that all nurses have the opportunity.
5)      It is your responsibility to keep your BLS and PALS current. If either is going to expire at the same time as your mission, please renew it early. An expired BLS or PALS card guarantees you will be replaced on the team.
6)      Last, but not least, if you are a night nurse on the mission, it is absolutely unacceptable to sleep during your shift. Even if you have local nurses who sleep, OS expectations are you must remain diligent of patient needs for your entire shift.  Please remember that you are working the night shift to provide quality care and to ensure the safety of our patients!
February 2014
Submitted by Connie Chiles

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    Medical Specialty Groups

    Connect with other nursing volunteers who are committed to making a difference in the lives of children around the world. This group is a great place to get advice about upcoming missions, share stories and pictures from missions past, and talk about any other topics relating to your specialty.