Nursing graduates are now encouraged to write down their medical expertise when they put in their mission papers.

Why? The Church is now working to have at least one missionary nurse specialist called to serve in all 418 missions.

“Health missionaries have a special calling to help missionaries be effective,” said chair of the Church’s missionary nurse specialist committee Sister Deanne T. Francis in a Church News article. “We can serve them by helping them return home not only with honor but with good health.”

Currently, there are 113 full-time mission nurse specialists. One of the full-time mission nurses is Sister Mary Tanner, who works training nursing assistants to teach missionaries and members in her area good hygiene practices as well as how to safely prepare food and water. The result of her efforts led to a 50 percent decrease of gastrointestinal infections cases in her area.

So what exactly does a mission nurse do?