volunteering won't help

  1. Hi all,

    So, the other day I was talking to a nurse that works in the education department at my job. She has over 20 years of experience as a NICU nurse and I told her I wanted to transition into Peds. I told her I planned on taking PALS and i was going to volunteer at a local hospital near my house, to try and build my resume (I have a year of experience). The lady at the hospital I plan to volunteer at told me I would go to the ED or PACU b/c I'm a nurse and I would get better exposure instead of going to the unit (where I would be doing clerical work and stocking shelves). The lady that works in education said that won't really benefit me.

    Just curious, do you think it is worth me doing?
  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   rinskins
    Volunteering won't count as nursing experience, but it may be GREAT towards networking. I have been at my current RN job (medsurg) for 7 months now, and volunteering at an outpatient infusion center for 6. I love my job but it is an hour or longer away from my house and I eventually would like to transition into maternity. The nurses that work at the infusion center, where my volunteer work includes grabbing meds from pharmacy and folding laundry (ie nothing related to RN responsibilities) have already told me they will put in good words with their friends- one of these RNs was the manager of L&D for 15 years, and the other is best friends with the current manager of the L&D unit at my dream hospital. When I do decide to start looking into transitioning from medsurg to maternity, my volunteering "job" of offering sandwiches to chemo patients and filing away paper charts may not be experience but the good word of the nurses who I file and fold for will be.
  4. by   RunBabyRN
    Networking is the most important part of volunteering at this point. I say stick with WHERE you want to be. Even in the ED, they usually don't let volunteers touch patients. It's all about networking in this job market.
  5. by   beachybutt
    Quote from procrastinator911

    The lady at the hospital I plan to volunteer at told me I would go to the ED or PACU b/c I'm a nurse and I would get better exposure instead of going to the unit (where I would be doing clerical work and stocking shelves).
    Since you're already a nurse, the purpose of volunteering isn't to get "exposure", but rather to get your foot in the door with Peds, right? Maybe you could emphasize to the volunteer coordinator that you don't mind doing clerical work and stocking on the Peds unit. All of those little extras mean a lot to the unit and you can still get yourself noticed by being reliable, friendly, a team player, doing a good job, etc. I used to work inpatient hospice and our volunteers knew all the staff and the mangers.
  6. by   akulahawkRN
    As others have said, volunteering isn't so much for getting experience, it's for networking. Also, people tend to hire people they know or those recommended by people they know over people that they don't know. There are two ways (typically) that you can become known... one is working there and the other is volunteering. Also, by volunteering and showing good work ethic, and getting to know the staff, when it comes time to hire a new person, they know if you're likely to be a good fit with the current environment there.

    Volunteering also give YOU a good way to really see what goes on and get a feel for the culture there, at both the facility and the floor/unit you're at. You will get to see the good stuff and the not so good stuff there. Then it's up to you to decide if that's where you want to actually work.

    If I'd been able to, I would have found actual employment at a facility that I'd ultimately want to work at before starting school. I didn't have that choice, unfortunately. Employees see a different set of job postings than the rest of us. This is no secret. A classmate of mine got hired as an RN on the same unit where she worked. They knew her and she fit in there. It didn't matter that she's a new grad... they can train her to be the RN they need her to be and they know from much experience with her that she is capable of that.

    In good times, having a license gets you multiple offers, sometimes for jobs you might not like. In all times, who you know gets you hired into the job you want.