Tips on getting volunteer experience

Nursing Students Pre-Nursing


I'm starting to plan for what I'd need for a second degree BSN. I've been reading various threads and I think I have a good idea of what needs to be done but want to see if I'm missing anything. Although a second degree seems to have slightly different challenges but it isn't all too different than first degree or anyone who has been working for a while.

Anyway, this is what I've figured out

1) Talk to the various schools in the area about their available programs.

2) Find out pre-reqs for applying and take all pre-reqs with at least a 3.0 average

3) Financial planning for paying for school and reducing/eliminating current income

4) Volunteering

Volunteering seems to be where I need some input. I've found a local non-profit hospital that has a free clinic as well. Although I work full time, I want to carve out time, most likely on the weekend.

What are schools looking for in terms of volunteering? Are they looking for specific roles? Obviously without any medical degree/license, volunteering would just give exposure but not necessarily experience.

Any tips would be appreciated.

Sign up as a volunteer and ask for any assignments that would give you exposure to clinical areas. In my experience, if you are a student, they try to get you into an area that is relevant to the education you are pursuing.

It was a whole process, drug screen, background check, TB test that took a month. In the process I became very friendly with the volunteer coordinator who went out of her way to make sure I had a worthwhile experience. A lot of the elderly volunteers are retired medical workers and have a lot of information to offer. Even if you don't get so called experience, it's worth it to learn the workings of the hospital and to make connections with people in the field you want to enter.

Best, L.

Best I can tell, my school is looking for two things from volunteering: that the student has a more realistic idea of nursing as a job/career and ability to see the bigger picture rather than the obvious answer. Volunteering is not required by my school, and people get in without any but it is a lot easier to discuss scenarios during the interview if you have experience or exposure. The school admits according to points and the interview is worth about 1/3 of the points.

I wanted to add that what the schools want is not necessarily the only consideration to think about regarding volunteering.

I also want to ease the learning curve in nursing school, get some real life experiences (or exposure at least) so the information I learn in nursing school will stick more easily and/or thoroughly, gain some perspective on what area of nursing I'm most interested in, and start figuring out the politics and procedures of medical workplaces in general.

I agree. You really aren't going to get "nursing" experience as a volunteer. However, you will be put in situations that other students won't experience.

I think volunteering has allowed me to get somewhat comfortable and familiar with a hospital. I get to communicate with nurses, patients, and visitors in the ED. I find that being a volunteer helps me understand how certain processes work in the hospital, and it helps me in my communication skills.

Plus, I've met some really incredible people.

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