1. I'm currently finishing up my pre-req for the nursing program I applied for and am still waiting to hear back, but in the meantime, is volunteering a good idea to get a better perspective on what I will be getting myself into?? And if so, does anyone have any suggestion on where? Thanks!!
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    About WishfulThinking9

    Joined: Nov '09; Posts: 36; Likes: 2


  3. by   Freedom42
    Wishful, I volunteered in a busy emergency department before my clinicals started. It was invaluable. Once the nurses knew that I was a nursing student, they were constantly alerting me to interesting procedures and giving me interesting tasks. They were terrific, and I felt very fortunate to be there. I learned a lot.

    The alternative is to work as a CNA, which will be of greater value on your resume. No matter how good your grades or interesting your volunteer experience, hospitals look first to people who have done aide work. Can you get work without being an aide? Absolutely. But that credential and that experience could open a door in what is right now a very difficult job market in Maine that appears unlikely to change any time soon. And you'd be paid for your time while you learn.
  4. by   ghillbert
    Doh - didn't read properly, you're not a nurse yet so my suggestion isn't helpful!
  5. by   WishfulThinking9
    Thanks Freedom42! I was considering becoming a CNA, but my schedule right now doesn't allow me to take classes. But your post was very helpful!!!
  6. by   Freedom42
    Wishful, once you've completed a semester-long fundamentals class in a nursing program, you are automatically eligible to apply for CNA status. You don't have to take separate CNA classes. So if you wanted to, you could then go to work for pay. Good luck!
  7. by   WishfulThinking9
    That's good to know! Thanks, I'll probably end up taking that route!!! I found out sometime next month if I get into school, so fingers cross
  8. by   lotsablessings
    Dear Wishful,
    When nursing school was not in session I did a few hours a week of volunteer work at my local hospital. The work was mostly clerical on a labor and delivery unit. I got to know the nurses, the docs and saw how they worked together. After graduation I applied for an RN med/surg position at that hospital, and got the job. Afterward, the nurse manager told me that the RN's I worked with while volunteering put in a good word about their experience working with me.

    Volunteering is a great way to learn about a hospital, the people, the work environment, etc. Also, the networking possibilies are extremely valuable! Most hospitals have opportunities for volunteers. I encourage people to call the HR department and see what's available.

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