Why We Stand Out:
There are over 3 million Registered Nurses (RNs) in the United States. These nurses encompass a profession that is centered around healing and health education. Many nurses will tell you they chose nursing to help people. This mentality is demonstrated time and again from hospice nurses comforting the dying cancer patient to the public-health nurses campaigning against malaria in Africa. Nursing Beyond Borders wants to mobilize the expertise of these nurses to the developing world in order to improve the health of the children, and by doing so change the thinking of a generation. Through education and prevention we hope to improve the longevity of everyone in these developing countries.
- All of the orphanages, schools, clinics, and shelters we visit are in need of supplies. These include; medications, lab kits, hygiene supplies, and educational materials. These supplies need to be collected for every trip either through donation or purchase, and then taken across the border by our teams. We hope to get most supplies donated or at least purchased at cost to minimize the price.
- Most organizations require the RN to raise all of their own trip costs. This can be anywhere from $700-$3000 depending on the location and length of the trip.
- We calculate that one trip with 10 RNs costs $10,000-$20,000 depending on location, length of the trip, and needed supplies for the children.
This is why we need YOUR help to raise these funds to get the nurses into these highly impoverished areas. It is no small task, but one that we know we can accomplish with your generous support.
The first mission trip I took was during nursing school as part of a public health project. Our goal was to build a health database for an organization that had constructed a school for children that would otherwise be roaming the streets. After graduating I went on other mission trips which hosted one day clinics in far-flung villages in the hills of Guatemala. These patients did spoke only their own tribal language. It was very taxing to ask a question, and have it interpreted from English to Spanish to Chiché, and then back again. The lines were so long outside these clinics, and the hours flew by. My heart went out to these villagers who not only had minimal exposure to healthcare, but also little to no education on preventative measures they could take to prevent such simple things as constipation, headaches (from dehydration), and tooth decay. The clinics were hard work, but the outcomes were rewarding, and knowing what a difference our team was making made it all worth it. I couldn't help but think as we left these villages that as helpful as we were this was still only a one time visit, and we had only touched a small portion of the world's poverty-stricken people. This trip planted the seed that would soon grow into our organization.
After school I began my career as a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit nurse. I signed up for various mission trips, but still they were always with part of a medical or surgical team. I still kept coming back to the issue that there were so many more nurses than doctors in the world, and that there had to be a way we could use our skill set to help the world's poor without having to be part of a medical or surgical team. But what can nurses do without doctors?
At the core of any nursing program is a focus on preventing disease and health education. Every RN has the equivalent of a PhD in preventing the spread of germs. My first skill check in nursing school was ensuring that I knew proper hand washing technique. Yes, it was graded, and yes there is a right and wrong way to do this, but I digress. Most volunteer organizations focus on fixing problems that already exist. Few focus on preventing the cause of the disease. By not focusing on the cause your are simply putting band-aids on gaping wounds, without teaching how to prevent the wound in the first place. Nursing Beyond Borders was created to fix the problem at it's source.
We are partnering with orphanages, schools, clinics, and shelters to fix disease before it starts. If healthcare is so scarce in the developing world why not educate the masses on ways to avoid the need for it. It is the collaboration between our donors and volunteers that make this endeavor possible. I hope that you will join me in making this dream a reality.