Can volunteer exp. take the place as work experience ?


If you don't have any work experience or no externships, but have clinicals & volunteer experience(1 year) could the volunteer experience take the place of your work experience when trying to get hired for first time? could it help you if whatever you did volunteerih related to the position you're applying for in the hospital?

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

No. Volenteering is valuable and should be included on a resume but it is never counted as experience. It needs to be a paid position to be counted.


13 Posts

I agree, no. I did volunteer at a local community hospital and while it was nice exposure to the environment, I was allowed almost no patient contact. I could bring them a cup of ice chips or water but no more. It doesn't really give you any useable experience but does introduce you to the environment/people. However, once they got to know me they were all about me finding a CNA job with them. It just happened to be that none were open at the time.

They saw that I was hard working and liked that--I was never without something to do. So it can be helpful to a degree but doesn't really translate to experience.

Specializes in cardiac-telemetry, hospice, ICU. Has 6 years experience.

Direct work experience is definitely the best. If not practical for you, volunteer in a hospital where you hope to work and get noticed. I volunteered in transportation while in nursing school, moving patients around to tests, etc. The nurses and managers got to know me and I have a job offer to work there. I credit 'standing out' by volunteering. I also know others in my class who got jobs as CNAs while in school all have job offers too. Finding a job is very competitive, good grades alone won't carry you too far, you have to find a way to stand out. Good luck.