From the Editor

At this time of year, if you live in North America, chances are good you are experiencing some kind of excess right about now:  too many treats, too many social obligations, too many expectations.

But it’s not like that everywhere, as nurses who have worked a medical mission can tell you.

We take time this month to celebrate the medical mission work of our NIFA community.

At the top of the list is the work done by NIFA faculty member and George Washington University professor Dr. Glenn Geelhoed and his organization Mission to Heal. Read below about his organization and about our gift to YOU.

And there are many other organizations worthy of volunteering for. We’ve collected some resources for your consideration.

If this kind of service is not a possibility for you, even a small donation to one of these organizations could be life-saving for someone.

This month our spotlight is on four NIFA grads and their medical mission adventures.

And how about a new job for the new year? Scroll down for a bountiful collection of job links.

33-1Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season from all of us at NIFA.

Julie Lancaster, Editor

Mission to Heal

glen_photoEvery year Dr. Glenn Geelhoed goes on multiple medical missions to various countries, operating side by side with local caregivers to help the sick and injured in the poorest, most remote regions of the world. NIFA is a proud past sponsor of several RNFA graduates who served as volunteers.

Dr. Geelhoed’s organization, Mission to Heal, operates on the fringes of surgical civilization, with limited supplies, often without electricity and with only local anesthesia. Their patients are stoic and grateful; the supporting caregivers are resourceful and generous in the extreme. Often against a backdrop of civil war, refugee camps, deep geopolitical instability, poverty and indifference, the medical teams and the indigenous communities respond with humility, perseverance and uncommon resilience to bring hope to the “bottom billion” of the world.

Our Gift to You
Our gift to YOU is a free copy of Dr. Geelhoed’s book, Surgery and Healing in the Developing World.

Available as a 485-page PDF, this book is a collection of “How To” articles from 50 authors, with titles like “Anesthesia in the Third World,” “Basic Obstetrics and Obstetric Surgery in a Mission Setting,” and much, much more.

NIFA has exclusive rights to distribute this book. To download your copy, please go to this page.

Medical Mission Opportunities

From_Geelhoed_websiteWe hope you’ll consider a medical mission at some point in your nursing career, either with Dr. Geelhoed’s Mission to Heal or with one of many other organizations. The work can be arduous and conditions poor, but the rewards are immeasurable. lists almost 400 organizations and allows you to search for them using filters such as your health care specialty, global health issues, and area of the world. The organization also offers training curriculum and a Global Missions Health Conference. offers an overview about medical missions, discussing benefits and challenges of serving on medical missions and including lists for of more than 20 organizations offering sponsored or self-sponsored missions. For each organization, the site lists education requirements, average cost, and a direct link to the application for that organization.

Finally, you may find this article from helpful: 5 Things You Need to Know About Medical Mission Trips.

In the Spotlight: Mission Reports from NIFA Grads

Curran_missionThe Philippines
Jennifer Curran, RN, CNOR, NIFA instructor, served a medical mission to the Philippines with Medical Ministry International. Read more (PDF) . . .

Amber Rodriguez, RNFA, with Mission to Heal. Read more . .
Victoria Rice, RN, CNOR, RNFA, with Mission to Heal. Read more . . .
Jennifer_Riportella_missionEcuador and San Salvador
Jennifer Riportella, RN, BSN
Two missions in Ecuador with International Children’s Heart Foundation, and two missions in San Salvador with Austin Smiles (cleft lip and palate reconstruction). Read more . . .

Job Front

Click here for a bumper crop of RNFA job postings we’ve collected for you this month!

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