Foreign Service Limited Non-career Appointment (LNA) Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) and Registered Nurses (RN) work in U.S. embassies overseas in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan alongside Foreign Service Officers, other U.S. agency personnel, and locally-employed staff.
The Foreign Service LCSWs serve on the Mental Health Programs staff and as a resident professional counselor providing services for employees at Foreign Service posts. The Social Worker has multifaceted responsibilities in the Embassy which will include but are not limited to the following: assessments of psychiatric problems, including substance abuse; Post-traumatic stress disorder counseling, job stress counseling, cross-cultural adjustment issues counseling, crisis management consultation on troubled employees, conflict mediation/resolution, consultation on violence in the workplace, and crisis management training for employees assigned to hardship posts.
The RNs are responsible for Department of State medical and safety policies, provision of a range of medical services, and the actual performance of all of the following essential functions in addition to routine medical care.
These are paid, Limited Non-career Appointment (LNA) Foreign Service positions. The LCSW and RN LNA programs are not an alternate entry method to the Foreign Service or the Department of State, i.e., this service does not lead to onward employment at the Department of State or with the U.S. government. Medical Service LNAs are welcome to apply to become Foreign Service Specialists, Foreign Service Generalists, or Civil Service employees, but they must complete the standard application and assessment processes.
If you have additional questions about the Medical Services programs, please visit the MED Specialists Forum or post a message.
As a member of a diplomatic team, the Medical Services LCSWs and RN LNAs help to accomplish the mission of the Department of State, and will also be a representative of the United States to the people of other nations. This position involves uncommon commitments hardships, as well as unique rewards and opportunities. A decision to accept this appointment should be based on extraordinary motivation and a firm dedication to public service.
While overseas work with the State Department may appear glamorous with overseas travel to exotic locations, government-provided housing, and generous pay and benefits, service abroad can be challenging and sometimes dangerous. Health and sanitation facilities in foreign countries may be limited, air and water quality may not be up to U.S. standards, sporadic power and water outages may occur, internet service may be unreliable and/or expensive, and access to U.S.-branded goods may be limited. We seek motivated individuals who can maintain their composure, while continuing to exercise sound judgment – even in the face of potentially stressful circumstances and living conditions.
In addition to the general requirements for employment in the Foreign Service, an LCSW applicant must have an M.S.W. (Master’s in Social Work) from an accredited graduate program and at least five years of progressively responsible experience in clinical psychiatry. Applicants must possess the highest level of independent clinical licensure for professional Social Work practice level (LICSW, CSW, LCSW, etc.) in any State.
In addition to the general requirements for employment candidates must be a graduate of an accredited Nursing program with a minimum of an Associate degree; a minimum of five years of experience within the last six years providing direct patient care; current and active license as a Registered Nurse in a state, the District of Columbia or a territory of the United States; and basic life support (BLS) certification. Prior emergency and/or critical care experience with Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is preferable. Prior military experience or experience with other U.S. agencies working abroad would be valuable.
Service time and benefits earned as a LCSW or RN can be counted as federal employment, and credited towards federal retirement eligibility.
Candidates earning a job offer must be able to obtain medical, security, and suitability clearances. Suitability may include a review of specific factors of an employee’s appropriateness for assignment to a specific post, including, for example, whether the candidate has an immediate family member still residing in the country of proposed assignment, or whether the candidate’s spouse, children, parents, etc., have such relations.
Additional benefits include: Tax Free Housing Overseas, overtime compensation, accrual of annual and sick leave, life insurance, inclusion in the Federal Employees’ Health Benefits Plan (FEHB), inclusion in the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS), and hardship and danger pay. Details about these benefits can be found at careers.state.gov. Not all benefits are applicable to LNA positions. For example, Student Loan Repayment and the Language Incentive Pay program, if language is a hiring prerequisite, are not included under the Medical Service’s LNA programs.