For those that were accepted, what sort of volunteer experiences did you have? If you don't mind sharing that is
Just want to see what it takes to get in! Did most of you have years of volunteering, or more like months?
Apr 14, '07
I agree with the other posters--it definitely depends on the competitiveness of the program and the individual applicant. There is so much variation in the application pool for these programs too--at my interview there were 22-yr-old Bio majors and 40-yr-old PhDs--I am not sure how much volunteer work any of them had, but that was probably just a fraction of the application score.
I will be starting a direct-entry FNP program this Fall. Since last Fall I have been working as an on-call clerk, and volunteering, at a low income out-patient clinic. I chose to work there because it is the type of environemt that I see myself at in the future. Before that I volunteered for a year at an inpatient med detox facility, working with nurses and patients. While doing my undergrad, I did various community out-reach projects that were health-care related. I also volunteered at a Children's Hospital for 3 years when I was in high school.
That being said, I would not have done all of that if I were already working in the field. Or, if an applicant is working 40+ hours a week to support themself, it may not make sense to spend hours a week volunteering. More importantly, the applicant should understand the role of the chosen specialty and I why it is a good match for them. If you can demonstrate that without additional volunteer work, then you may not need to.
Even though I have countless hours of community service, it may have been my shadowing of FNPs that made a bigger difference. I was able to shadow 2 graduates of the program that I was applying to and I definitely included that in my application.
In addition, I was a Bio major and did research in a genetics lab. Because I did not feel that that influenced my decision to become an FNP, I barely mentioned it in my application. I did however talk about balancing being a young mother and going to school because that *did* fit nicely into my essay.
It is all about doing what works for you as an individual applicant. I would suggest volunteering if you have a strong desire to, if you have very little on your resume, or if you really feel you need it to understand a specialty. .... Best of luck!
Last edit by BerkeleyMom on Apr 14, '07
: Reason: typo