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Types of volunteering for new grads

Posted

Specializes in Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy. Has 8 years experience.

While we're waiting for that elusive first offer, what are some good volunteer positions for new grads? I realize that a new grad won't find many volunteer positions that actually require RN skills because of liability etc. What are some volunteer jobs that can boost your career and get you more exposure to the nursing field?

Before I started school I volunteered in a local hospital and basically did PCT work. I am going back to the same hospital to volunteer again but don't want to go back to the PCT stuff. It was a valuable experience for me then, before starting school, but I want something more advanced. I could always WORK as a PCT, but the (non-nursing) job I have now pays more than PCT and I can't afford to give it up. Volunteering gives me more flexibility.

JeanettePNP, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy. Has 8 years experience.

Nobody else wants to tackle this one? Okay, I'll start.

I started volunteering once a week in a long-term facility for children with multiple handicaps. Many of them get very little stimulation outside their scheduled therapies. I just visit, talk to them, read, play, interact with them according to their capacity.

I also started to work for an organization that provides respite care at home or in the hospital for families with special-needs children. I'll be starting this week doing home visits for a child with spina bifida. And I'll be making hospital calls as needed, if the parents need a break from the child's bedside.

I'm primarily interested in pediatrics so I'm volunteering in that area...

Another idea, if you are interested in a specific area of nursing, is to call local chapters of organizations or support groups for people with specific conditions and ask how you can help. For example, the muscular dystrophy association or the American cancer society. Or you can start such a group yourself...