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Volunteering with encumbered license


Does anyone know if it is possible to volunteer in an RN capacity with an encumbered license?

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 19 years experience.

It depends on the terms of your contract - You may not perform PT care until they say yes and you may not pass meds/narcs until they say yes. This is a situation where it's better to ask for permission than forgiveness - Monitoring boards can be very unforgiving.

Out of curiosity why are you looking to volunteer as an RN? Are you not allowed paid employment? There are many places you can volunteer in a non clinical capacity that would not need to know anything about your license (though some may do criminal background checks) but would be good resume builders: a hospice or nursing homevolunteer companion, if you play an instrument you could provide entertainment. Ditto for sr centers and adult day care or group homes. If you speak another language maybe an interpreter? Homeless or domestic violence shelter? Refugee or immigrant resource center? Crisis nursery or group home for child protection? Guardian ad litem for kidsin the court system? All could provide great experience for future rn work.

Places that may have clinical and non clinical opportunities: hiv/aids resource centers, planned parenthood and similar organizations, red cross, health fairs (taking bp/cholesterol/blood sugar and giving basic education-often these are paid temp or per diem positions), free clinics, possibly medical mission or docs without borders, sexual assault exams/advocacy. These are guesses, I have never tried to volunteer using my license.

There is a web site called volunteer match where you can search by location and key word that may help. But if you are looking to build your resume while you wait to find a job (which is the best reason I can think of to look to volunteer with your license) there are plenty of things you can do where you don't even have to mention your license,if anything just your education and work experience, but you can choose what to reveal (usually) unlike job apps where you can be fired for hiding things.

Edit to add: what about a hotline? Crisis/mental health/suicide/addiction, or more general like 211, or maybe even a health insurance exchange?again may not use your license but definitely could be relevant experience

Edited by jdub6
Adding something

dirtyhippiegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in PDN; Burn; Phone triage. Has 8 years experience.

My state counts volunteering in a nursing capacity as time served for completion of the monitoring program. Some folks volunteer off their narcotic stip, for instance. It is the same process as having a job. Same stips apply and your employer still needs to file the eval reports.

I am walking into this 5 years out of nursing school with 1 month of nursing experience. I have heard about the difficulty so many have had finding a job with stips on their license so combining that with my lack of experience I am anticipating problems. My time only counts if I am working in a nursing capacity. I figured volunteering in an RN role would atleast give me experience to put on a resume and count on "job credit".

I know some nurses who volunteer in a nursing capacity, but with stipulations and without experience it might be difficult to find an organization or clinic to take you--and your monitoring program may not let you volunteer anyway. I think you might have more luck looking for a non-nursing volunteer position--jdub6 had some good ideas. Personally, I would hesitate to work in any capacity--paid or volunteer--without getting the OK from my monitoring program; they would probably never find out, but if they did that could be grounds for immediate expulsion (in my state's program, they were quite explicit about their zero tolerance for working [and, I would assume, volunteering in a healthcare-type field] without their approval). hppygr8ful is right--get permission, because you probably can't expect forgiveness if you are found out.

As far as working for pay, don't give up without at least trying, OK? Someone might be willing to take you on as a graduate nurse--you never know. I don't know what you mean by stipulations--they might not be as bad as you think. Some places really need nurses, and if you really want this (and I assume you do, since you're sticking with the license, encumbered though it may be), get out there and sell yourself; talk up the positive aspects of the situation. How has this strengthened your resolve to pursue nursing? Why are you willing to stick it out with this added difficulty--why does it mean so much to you? What has your recent experience taught you? How has it made you a better, stronger person?

Just some ideas. Keep us posted!

Have you thought about volunteering for programs such as DARE or PACE programs or something similar. Wouldn't require or utilize your license but it could be so rewarding. We hAve a center in my area that is an adult day care center. I knew of student nurses who volunteered there time to get experience utilizing some of there learned skills. Maybe check I to something like that. As a rule of thumb, if ever in doubt ask your case worker. good luck