Professional Development Tips for Current Students

Many students in the SON are passionate about global health, but are unsure of how to enter the field as a new nursing professional. Beyond the essential focus on developing excellent clinical skills, there are various paths to acquiring the experience and relationships that are necessary to navigate the global health nursing field. Below are some concrete recommendations and resources to guide you through the process of developing your global health career:


Get in the Know: Connect to Online Forums and ListServs


Network: Start with the great people connected to the UCSF SON

  • Talk to your program director
  • Access alumni of your program
  • Meet with global health faculty and the Center for Global Health. Before reaching out, do your research to identify the appropriate contacts, and explain the specific reason that you are interested in learning about their specific work.
  • Attend the SON Global Health Speaker Series, Global Nursing Forum annual meeting and the other events around campus that expose you to the field and its leaders


Study: If possible, tailor your coursework at UCSF to gain global health expertise


Gain Practical Experience: Global Health experience can be valuable in global and local sites, and in multiple disciplines. Many entry-level opportunities are unpaid. Below is a sample:

  • The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (Bay area fellowships with community organizations)
  • Language study. There are countless programs to choose from, depending on your language of interest. Many merge clinical placements with language training.
  • Volunteer and build a relationship with a community-based organization (Reflect on your value alignment, reinforce your commitment to a population or cause, and demonstrate your dedication to the work)


Apply for fellowships and field placements for post-graduation: A sample is listed below, and many more are advertised through the various list servs above.