Are non-Indians/Eskimos accepted as health care providers when working for Indian Health Services?

I am a registered nurse with no American Indian lineage. I am interested in working for IHS and I am curious if I would be accepted or resented by the community. I also understand that Indians/Eskimos have preferential hiring. Does that apply to promotion as well, i.e. will I be eligible for promotion and be able to make a career with this organization.

1 Answer

  • Sarah
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    IHS has lots of non-Native employees.

    As for being accepted by a community, it depends on your attitude. If you go into any job working with Natives thinking you are better then them or somehow there to "save" them, or attempting to impose your own cultural ways, I can assure you that you will not fit in. But if you are able to let go of your stereotypes, be accepting of other people and respectful of our culture, I'm sure you will do fine.

    I am assuming that preference is not considered during promotions, it is most likely performance based. Even if there is preference for promotions, as long as you do your job well, you should have no problem advancing.

    When I was still dealing cards, I had a conversation with a woman on my table who was an IHS hospital nurse in the 4-corners area. She was non-Native and had been employed by IHS for over 14 years and loved it. Our local community health nurse is non-Native and technically is IHS employed. (Although she is employed by the tribal Nation, the funding comes from IHS.) She has been here since the late 1980's and has no intention of leaving until it's time to retire. She really likes her job. Neither women had a hard time making a career.

    Source(s): Potawatomi
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