Humanitarian Global Outreach SWT

Welcome to the ASPAN Humanitarian Global Outreach Strategic Work Team Resources webpage!

As nurses we genuinely care about health and well-being and want to contribute to making our world a better place. Volunteering for a medical mission trip is one way to participate in outreach that can improve the well-being of others. Mahatma Gandhi shared “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”1 Giving back through sharing your time and talents for a greater good can also renew your own passion for nursing. Giving back through attending medical missions need not take you across seas, there are also opportunities here close to home to serve others and share nursing knowledge. The Humanitarian Global Outreach (HuGO) Strategic Work Team (SWT) promotes the development, application, and translation of evidence-based nursing practice for improvement of community health and elevate local nursing practice in the perianesthesia setting.

This SWT will focus on identifying and prioritizing humanitarian global outreach issues to be addressed based on ASPAN’s Strategic Plan. This SWT will create and implement tactics to increase ASPAN members’ knowledge and involvement in humanitarian global outreach issues. Partnering and collaborating with other nonprofit humanitarian organizations to improve and address global health. Resources will be identified, and narratives created from the SWT members and shared on this website tab.

Please visit this site often, share your stories and step forward to lift others in need. Empathy for others, caring and kindness are not signs of weakness, but rather the manifestations of strength and resolution.

Thank you and take care,

Cindy Ladner MBA BSN RN CAPA
Humanitarian Global Outreach SWT Coordinator, 2020-2023
ASPAN Past President, 2020-2021

1 Ahashoka, C.  (2012) 12 Great Quotes From Gandhi On His Birthday. Forbes magazine. Retrieved from:

Narratives from SWT Members

Checklist:  Essential points when embarking on a volunteer nurse assignment (international or national)

Click here for a pdf of the checklist below.
  • Learn as much about the reputation and validity of the organization and mission of the trip as possible.
  • Who are the leadership at HQ and at the site of the mission, and do you have their contact information?
  • Are the dates and travel information very clear? Know the scheduled start day and time of the mission and make travel plans accordingly.
  • What is the cost for the mission and are the costs at the site included? 
  • Who is on your team, and can you contact anyone prior to the mission? 
  • Do you have health and evacuation insurance in case you might need it?
  • What are the visa requirements?  Note - some require visa prior to travel, some have visa-on-arrival.  
  • Does your passport have at least 6 months left before expiration - most countries require this?
  • Do you have at least 3-4 empty visa pages in your passport - also required?
  • When traveling outside the US always register with the US Dept of State.  Travel (
  • What are the professional requirements?  
    • Out of state nursing - are you legally allowed to practice in another state?
    • Out of country - what does the Ministry of Health need to allow you to practice?
    • Do your professional skills match the skills needed by the organization?  
    • Is there a written job description/expectation?
    • What professional tools do you need to perform on this mission?
    • Will there be an evaluation of your performance?
    • Will the organization solicit an evaluation from you about your experience?
    • Do they provide written policy and procedures, orientation competencies applicable to your role assignment (note any local Regulatory requirements)?
  • What supplies and equipment are you expected to bring: Stethoscope, Pulse Oximeter, scrub attire.
  • Be prepared for unforeseen changes and bring  carry-on bag with essential items: 
    • Carry-on Bag: Passport + copy in separate bag, electronic devices, 1 change of clothes you can war & wear, 1 set of scrubs and work shoes, medication, cosmetics-toothbrush, cash in small bills
  • Safety Tips 
    • What personal volunteer safety measures are in place at the site, what are the dangers? 
    • Are there health/safety concerns in the area you are traveling (communicable diseases, civil unrest, etc.? 
    • Check if there are vaccinations required or recommended well ahead of time, it takes approximately 2 weeks to develop immunity and some vaccines are a series? 
    • Situational Awareness – be aware of your surroundings
    • Leave expensive jewelry and items at home
    • Dress conservatively and be culturally sensitive
    • Translate apps – Google translate and others
    • Electronic devices: turn-on tracking if available,if device lost erase content

Education resources and websites for travel recommendations and restrictions