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Should I put this experience on my resume?


Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 1 years experience.

Hi everyone!

I'm currently finishing my resume, and am hoping to be accepted into a new grad program at an Emergency Room.

I was a certified rape crisis counselor in my state and volunteered with a nonprofit rape crisis center as an advocate and (unofficially) on their speaker's bureau for a little over a year and a half. During that time I made contact with an employee at a teen safe house in my area. She had mentioned in my crisis counselor training class that some of the teens in the house, specifically teens who were survivors of human trafficking needed a tutor for their high school Biology class. She mentioned that she was searching for a Biology tutor that could volunteer their time, who was already vetted, and who could also be sensitive to the survivors and their experiences. The whole thing needed to be done quickly and kind of unofficially because she didn't have time to formally background check anyone or have them apply to volunteer with the safehouse because their girls had an exam in two weeks.

I had been a tutor, study group leader, and lab Teacher's Assistant for several upper division university biology classes so I offered to volunteer to help. I met with the woman and one of the girls twice at a starbucks (the safe house was about an hour away so we met halfway) and I tutored for about two hours each time. The thing is that we only met twice and the professional relationship fizzled out due to the fact that we were so far away from each other and we were navigating her schedule, the girl's schedule, and mine (which included nursing school, working, TAing, teaching, and volunteering with the crisis center). But this experience was significant for me as a person and for my growth, even though it was short.

I don't know if it matters or not, but I hope to eventually work part time as a SART nurse while working full time in the ER, and dream of someday making contact with the teen safehouse again after I get established as a nurse, and possibly doing a pre-nursing mentorship program for any of the teens who would be interested. I would absolutely love to be able to do that. I also volunteered as a highschool soccer coach for three years, so helping and mentoring young people is extremely important to me. I also know that the place where I'm applying to (my dream job) has sent their ER nurses to youth camps for young people who have been victimized by violence and crime, so I believe this experience shows that take their mission and values very seriously.

I'm just a little hesitant to put an experience on my resume that I cannot give a reference for, and that was so short. I don't think the woman would remember me at this point, and I have since lost her phone number.

Thank you so much for your advice!


Double-Helix, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 10 years experience.

I wouldn't list it. It was short, unpaid, and unverifiable. Worst case they ask you why you didn't follow through with the commitment.

twinmommy+2, ADN, BSN, MSN

Specializes in ED. Has 16 years experience.

I agree with Double-Helix. Also I would like to add that while wanting to be on the SART is commendable, they will want you to focus on your nursing first. Get your skills down first then concentrate on that.

Don't put anything "unofficial". If the employer can't verify it, it makes you look like you are padding your resume.


Specializes in Stepdown . Telemetry. Has 8 years experience.

I would definitely put something if it had a meaningful impact and you can explain how it shaped you! Are u kidding? Those are the things that they want! And it is verified by your enthusiastic depiction of the experience!

Even if it was a total flyer on the tree advertising, "unofficial" thing...Tutoring without a company, sortof word of mouth is totally legal, so what is there to verify?

They are looking for the honest things that show a little spark in you.

And teaching and education is such a highly relevent transferrable skill. U are not lying, and it shaped your experience.

Don't miss chances to describe who u are becuse of fear.

calivianya, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

Honestly, I think putting the fact that you were a rape crisis counselor on there will be good enough. Not many new grads can say they've done that... and with the year and a half you did that, that one's verifiable.

Good luck!

HermioneG, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 1 years experience.

Hey Double Helix! Thanks so much for the feedback, I really appreciate it and it's given me something to think about :) :) I just want to say though, that if they asked me why I didn't follow through with the commitment, the answer is they needed a short term tutor to assist for an upcoming exam that was two weeks away. I did that, and got her ready for the exam. The professional relationship fizzled out because I got the girl through the exam, and it was hard to coordinate because we were an hour away from each other.

But I see your point, and thanks so much for it! I appreciate you taking the time to reply :) I have some thinking to do.

HermioneG, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 1 years experience.

Thanks twinmommy+2 :) I don't know if people usually reply to every person on here, but I will do it anyways :) I appreciate your insight. I do hope to eventually work part time as a SART nurse, but in order to get into the SART programs in my area you must have significant experience as a nurse before applying. I agree that I will first need to focus on my nursing skills.

Sometimes I get so focused on my goals that I forget that I have to walk before I can run, and I agree that I will need to have some solid nursing experience before being on SART :) Thanks for your input and taking the time to reply!

HermioneG, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 1 years experience.

Thanks Kaylee! It had such a huge impact on me, and that's one of the reasons why I wanted to put it in there! The hospital where I'm applying is a nonprofit and values nurses that give their time to invest in their community. Many of their staff volunteer a lot, and they're always working in the community. There's such a heavy emphasis on it, and that's an environment that I would love to work in. I would love to work there and be able to volunteer at a camp and work with at risk teens, or teens who have lost someone to crime or violence like their nurses do now! Between your answer and other people's answers, though, I'm feeling more torn than ever. Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply

Julius Seizure

Specializes in Pediatric Critical Care.

you could mention it in your cover letter instead maybe?

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

You could include the unpaid parts as volunteer experience. Upon graduating from high school, the only paid experience I had (aside from babysitting) was as a musician -- I was on staff as the organist at an area church, and then I freelanced for weddings and funerals. I never ran into issues listing the unverifiable freelance work.

Your experience is at least pertinent to nursing.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

I agree with Here.I.Stand. This is the kind of thing that can separate you from the herd of people who want to be in the ER. When they ask for your five year goals, SART would be a good one to mention. When they have some of their "tell me about a time...." types of questions you can work your volunteer work into the interview seamlessly and it will be both genuine and pertinent. A lot of new grads have literally nothing in their experience to tie into what they want to do. I think this would be worth putting on there and were I interviewing you it would be refreshing and, to me, a sign of genuine dedication.

you dont need to put it on the resume, but if you can somehow speak about it during your interview and how it impacted you, will make you a better nurse, shows leadership, etc, I would. Good luck

HermioneG, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 1 years experience.

Thank you everyone for your replies and thoughtful insight, I really appreciate it! I decided to include it in the form of a one line bullet point at the end of the description of my rape crisis counselor experience. It's a single sentence that briefly explains what I did, and states that it was not with the rape crisis center but was a volunteer opportunity found through the center (which it was). I ended up kind of having to merge several experiences into that one description anyways, because in addition to doing the in hospital advocacy, I also volunteered with their hotline, attended university events and did event tabling, did some public speaking at a take back the night event, helped with the fundraising for teddy bears for the survivor bags, did community advocacy, etc. So the thought is that even though all of these are different experiences (and weren't strictly crisis counseling) I can put them under the "Volunteer Rape Crisis Counselor" heading because they're inter-connected enough to be able to be sub-points of that experience (I hope that makes sense!). I hope this is okay, as I'm already doing it with two other long term experiences in my resume :( I've had it like this for awhile, but I'm second guessing myself and getting nervous because I'm going to turn in my resume very soon!

I put that it was an unofficial volunteer experience, that was short term and as needed. I was thinking about working it in to my interview answers, but I already have some very beautiful and meaningful experiences that I was planning to use for most of the "tell me about a time when" type questions that I've been thinking of. At least it's still there just in case it doesn't get discussed in the interview... Ideally, though, I will be able to talk about it in my interview as it was such a meaningful experience. We will have to see, I suppose. Thank you to everyone again! I really appreciate your time! All of the different answers really did help a lot :)

Julius Seizure

Specializes in Pediatric Critical Care.

I was thinking about working it in to my interview answers, but I already have some very beautiful and meaningful experiences that I was planning to use for most of the "tell me about a time when" type questions that I've been thinking of.

You sound like you are doing a great job preparing to interview! I bet the people who interview you will be impressed.

Also, your name and profile image made me think of this:


HermioneG, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 1 years experience.

Aw, thank you :) I hope I will be able to find that good middle ground in the interview where your story both covers everything you'd like it to, while still being genuine and not sounding rehearsed. Keeping my fingers crossed!

And I LOVE meeting other potterheads!! :) I'm with you here, Emma Watson will always be the one and only Hermione Granger lol

So glad to meet you, by the way :)