Join CCNEPal summer 2018 to teach critical care skills in Nepal

Interested in using your skills in an international setting for global health?


medical colleges in Nepal are working on “gender balance” but nursing is still female. The solidarity to be found in an all-female work group in Nepal is inspiring. There is an upside to go with the downside….

……. but don’t have any contacts or  know where to start?

You are invited to contact CCNEPal and see if we are a fit for you for summer 2018.

We are looking for American RNs or MDs with acute care background who can help teach critical care skills to nurses and doctors in Nepal.

Time commitment: at least one month summer 2018.

budget: all expenses are borne by the participant. These typically include airfare $1500; fooding and lodging while in country ( $400 per month). tourist incidentals.

Locations: we expect to spend a bit of time in Kathmandu, the capital city, at the beginning and I will be happy to show you around. We spend time teaching in Kathmandu, but also in the Terai, the southern plains. This is not a picturesque experience distributing toothbrushes in some Sherpa Village in the Himalaya.  If the location is not populous enough to support a medical college and teaching hospital, we don’t go there. Read past blogs to get an idea of where we go within Nepal.

That’s it. We will help arrange things, but we don’t charge a fee to cover some mysterious and unspecified administrative costs. CCNEPal is a shoestring operation, we expect each participant to provide their own health insurance and incidentals.

What we are looking for:

Nurses and doctors with a open mind, a sense of humor, and the willingness to work hard. This is not a party experience in any way, and I need to say upfront that if you need to have alcohol to get through the day, this is not for you. (um, caffeine is another matter. I know every source of “Organic Coffee” in every city I have visited). (instant coffee is an abomination).

What it is not:

It’s not for new graduates who do not have a solid core of acute care experience. The students can tell whether you know what you are talking about.

It’s not a sightseeing trip or party opportunity. You don’t have to work six days a week like I do (and like the Nepalis do) but there will be a full schedule of teaching in your topic arranged by our partners with full classrooms. In 2017 I taught 365 people in six weeks. you do the math.

It’s not a wander-in wander-out experience for international vagabonds with a nursing degree who wish to add Nepal to their bucket list of countries. You would need to submit a CV, letter of interest, and some references in addition to engaging in country-specific preparation.


In Kathmandu mid-morning chiya and biscuits are just the thing. Before the CCNEpal project is through, we will consume one million cups of chiya and two million biscuits. and I always ask the participants to toast – they toast the previous groups and the future groups. ( note: a few people got nescafe – OMG!)

It’s not a stay at a nice hotel with a pool. We might occasionally splurge but we mostly stay in the kind of lodging the Nepali people would favor, and we eat the local food. Don’t come if you don’t like rice.

Content and approach

We use specific teaching methods to offer a two- or three-day course in critical care skills loosely based on the AHA ACLS class (though it is emphatically NOT associated with AHA nor does it lead to a USA ACLS card). So, first and foremost we are looking for nurses who are willing to study our pedagogical approach to ACLS-type training, and teach the workshop. We don’t use PowerPoint, we don’t distribute mountains of handouts, and we don’t rely solely on lecture. We are highly practical and interactive.

We have had many inquiries to teach other courses. First, some kind of one-day workshop on nurse’s responsibilities for the mechanically ventilated patient; and second, a course in recognizing pediatric emergencies.


If you are certified to teach these, we would especially like to hear from you. There is tremendous need for these two specific courses. Similarly, ABLS (Advanced Burn Life Support).

American Heart Association

As stated above, what I teach is consistent with the latest standards of the American Heart Association, but for a long list of reasons, this is not the “official” course. Having said that, if you are qualified to teach the official course, I can forward your name to the one-and-only AHA International Training Center in Nepal and you can plan to teach with them.



Dal-bhaat deluxe. Rice with lentil soup is the mainstay of Nepali diet.

Nepal is not an easy country for your first international experience, and Kathmandu is not an easy first international city, if you have never travelled.  Study and preparation is needed and it is important to begin months in advance. You will not be “parachuting in” – you would be working with local contacts in the health professions education sector with whom I have had working relationships for more than five years (in most cases).

About Language (and culture)

the main language of instruction in medicine and nursing in Nepal is English. However, there are many cultural nuances important to Nepal and it is helpful to study those. Even to know a little Nepali before you go, is a good idea.

This experience is ideal for a graduate student with the time to prepare. Browse through this site and related links, then give me a call.




About Joe Niemczura, RN, MS

These blogs, and my books, and videos are written on the principle that any person embarking on something similar to what I do will gain more preparation than I first had, by reading them. I have fifteen years of USA nursing faculty background. Add to it fifteen more devoted to adult critical care. In Nepal, I started teaching critical care skills in 2011. I figure out what they need to know in a Nepali practice setting. Then I teach it in a culturally appropriate way so that the boots-on-the-ground people will use it. One theme of my work has been collective culture and how it manifests itself in anger. Because this was a problem I incorporated elements of "situational awareness" training from the beginning, in 2011.
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4 Responses to Join CCNEPal summer 2018 to teach critical care skills in Nepal

  1. Valerie Aikman says:

    Oh please count me in. I have been a critical care leader/teacher for more than twenty years and you are calling my name! I’m an avid traveler and am a consultant domestically for Critical Care and Emergency Services Nursing Leadership. I would be happy to send you my CV.
    Thank you for this opportunity!

    Valerie Aikman

  2. What about Neonatal Resuscitation and OB Emergencies? I’m not an instructor, but am an MSN prepared CNM, currently working in Haiti long term, but might be interested in the future if it truly met a need. Could possibly gather a small team of US & Haitian nurse midwives.

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