Are you "required" to volunteer? - page 2

by brillohead

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Just got the syllabus for this semester's class, and we're *required* to "volunteer in the community" for two hours and then write a reflection paper on the experience. Note, this is NOT nursing-related volunteering, we don't... Read More


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    In the first semester, we were not required to volunteer...however if we did commit to a certain number of volunteer hours at certain facilities and did a presentation about our experience at the end, we received bonus points that went towards our final grade. Those extra points saved more than one classmate from failure.

    In the second year, we had a service learning course where we had to commit 50 or so hours towards community service in our community, and here is where--depending on the assignment we chose--we could get to really use some of our nursing skills.
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    We have "service learning" as well. It's only one day but it is frustrating only because I have kids so thats always makes things more difficult but honestly if I didn't have to worry baout finding child-care I would actually be super excited about it. I think its going to be a good experience and although I see your point about the mandatory volunteering is silly but I think its just a growing experience. Some may not get as much out of it as others but hey at least everyones doing something and making a good name for nursing.
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    No, thankfully not required at my school. Community Health clinicals are separate from volunteering opportunities. Sometimes there's extra credit offered for volunteering at an event or attending a seminar. I volunteered for a homeland security educational event put on for high schoolers by organizers of this big security and defense convention. Disaster response and CSI was covered. Plus it didn't hurt that it was at the Broadmoor Hotel, that was pretty cool. Last year, several students participated and helped organize a local March for Babies walk. I'm pretty sure that they'll do it again this year, and hopefully I can participate in that.
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    Quote from brillohead
    Just got the syllabus for this semester's class, and we're *required* to "volunteer in the community" for two hours and then write a reflection paper on the experience.

    Note, this is NOT nursing-related volunteering, we don't wear our clinical scrubs or anything to identify us as students, etc. This is allegedly so we can get a "service learning" endorsement on our diplomas, but we already accomplished that with an earlier project in our first year.

    This just seems soooooooo odd to me. How can it be teaching us to volunteer and contribute to our community if it's a REQUIREMENT in order to pass the class?

    Note that I'm not anti-volunteering in the least ... I was a Red Cross Volunteen working in nursing homes, chapter houses, bloodmobiles, etc., as soon as I was old enough to do so! It's just that, to me, all it will do is turn people OFF from volunteering if it's FORCED upon them, particularly since we're required to volunteer in the community where our school is located, rather than the community where we live.

    Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else has this "volunteering requirement" in their program?

    Volunteer? No. Doing Community Service during nursing school? Yes, for my school.
    Community Service at my school includes: health screenings & health fairs and more. I believe its a necessary part of giving back to my community, it is school policy and mandatory, plus it makes one feel good about doing it.

    Of course, we can volunteer at our hospital, if we wish. But, volunteering is not mandatory. I can get a job as PCT after my first semester of nursing school is completed.
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    More clarification:

    This is separate from our "community nursing" clinicals. I'll be doing my community nursing clinicals in an elementary school.

    We have already fulfilled our "service learning" requirement in a previous class.

    I personally have nothing against volunteering -- I just feel that the idea of "mandatory volunteering" is an oxymoron. When I think of mandatory community service, I think of criminals being sentenced.
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    it's not all about you, you know. your community sees students from the college of nursing out there being good community citizens in the community that offers its resources to your program for your benefit. say thank you and give them an opportunity to think well of your program. you never know when the goodwill might come in handy.
    NutmeggeRN and Despareux like this.
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    No, but being a member of the student nurses' association was pushed pretty hard & volunteering/community evens were performed through that.
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    Quote from Glad2baSN
    We don't look at it as "volunteer" for our Community Health class. We do however, work in the community, either in community health vans, day care centers, community clinics, etc. In addition, I do volunteer at Health fairs and soup kitchens, that can be counted as part of the community and write a reflection (1 page) paper if I wanted to. The incentive is, any health fairs I "volunteer" at can be counted as my clinical and therefore don't need to come in on my regular clinical day.
    Would you really want less clinical time? I mean you would rather be at a health fair then in the hospital? I would never do that but maybe we have less clinical time then most people.

    To the OP: No we don't have to do that. It seems quite absurd to do 2 hours of volunteer work, only 2 hours. Very silly.
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    Quote from grntea
    it's not all about you, you know. your community sees students from the college of nursing out there being good community citizens in the community that offers its resources to your program for your benefit. say thank you and give them an opportunity to think well of your program. you never know when the goodwill might come in handy.
    wow, judgmental much?

    for the record, we're not seen as "students of the college of nursing" when we're doing this "mandatory volunteering" -- we're dressed in street clothes with nothing to identify us as nursing students, and we're not allowed to do any kind of "nursing" activity because we're not in a clinical setting and we're not with a clinical instructor.

    and as i've said before, i have nothing against volunteering in general, and i've been doing volunteer work for over three decades now. i'm quite familiar with the concept, thankyouverymuch.
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    We have to do a minimum of 6 hours before we can graduate and it must be health related. I think community service/volunteer is a wonderful idea. It's an easy way to get to know your resources and it's also a great way to network. The most valuable experience I've gained from my community service experience is, learning how to develop a resource/program for my community, in an area of nursing that interests me. I know after graduation, jobs may be hard to come by, and implementing my program may help keep me up on my nursing skills, especially the teaching and communication aspect.

    To reiterate; yes, community service/volunteer experience can be super valuable.


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