Volunteer Opportunities for Nurses

Article Categories: Nursing Jobs & Nurse Employers

Have you ever considered being a nurse volunteer? One of the benefits of nursing is the ability to take your skills into the community…or around the world. For many nurses, helping others for a day or a week is a satisfying experience, as well as a reminder of why you became a nurse in the first place. Depending on your personal situation, you can find a way to volunteer that fits your lifestyle.

Here are some ideas and resources to get you started:

Want to stay local, or just do a day here and there? Check with your town’s Health Department. You may take blood pressures at the Senior Health Fair or administer flu shots at City Hall. Schools often welcome nurses into health classes. Be part of the Medical Team at a 5K run or marathon. Help at a blood drive. Your church may need a nurse for health education classes or to stand ready for first aid at summer day camp.

If you’re looking to do something “bigger,” such as pitch in during a disaster or be more formally involved with an organization, check out the American Red Cross. Volunteer nurses have helped the ARC since 1909. Nurses can choose from a variety of activities, including being part of a Disaster Action Team; teaching CPR/First Aid Courses; training Nurse Assistants; and serving on local ARC boards. International opportunities are also available.

Many nurses choose humanitarian causes, often sponsored by non-profit organizations or churches. They enjoy traveling to areas where medical care is scarce, and where they can live and work for a week or more. Often nurses will return year after year, because of the friends they make, and the deep satisfaction of helping in a true hands-on manner. Note that volunteers are usually responsible for their airfare, expenses, and any visa cost. Sometimes a donation for room and board is also requested.

Some examples of these experiences:

• Project HOPE: Several nursing volunteer options are online, including working in India at two sites, each with hospital/medical college/nursing school. Deployment is for three weeks or longer.

• International Volunteer HQ: Global opportunities for a week or longer. South America, Africa, and Vietnam are places where nurses can work in clinics or public health sites.

• Mission Finder: Nurses who seek faith-based volunteer work can easily select from programs around the world. The need for medical care never ends, and nurses can use their skills anywhere they wish. Most religions and churches sponsor medical trips and excursions, as well.

It’s no secret that nurses frequently suffer from burn-out. Leaving your workplace behind and helping others in a simpler way can be the perfect antidote. There are almost 3 million Registered Nurses in the United States, the largest healthcare profession. Imagine if every nurse gave just one hour of volunteer work a year…