Where should I volunteer?


I'm a senior in high school and I have my NA already. I want to be a very strong candidate when applying for a nursing program. I plan to work as a CNA and volunteer. My question is where should I volunteer. A nursing home or a non profit organization changing kids lives? Or even a hospital? Please give input.

Specializes in ER, progressive care. Has 7 years experience.

That's great that you want to volunteer. I would volunteer in an area that interests you. Hospitals sometimes need volunteers, too. I worked at one that had volunteers come in the daytime on the ACE (acute care of the elderly) unit. Hospice and LTCs also have volunteers, too. If you love kids, then volunteer at a children's hospital.

But honestly? I really don't think nursing programs look at volunteer work. I know mine did not. You need to have a good GPA to be accepted because they are very competitive. Some programs require you to be a CNA, some do not. Most programs require a minimum of a 2.75 to apply but in reality to be accepted, your GPA needs to be higher. Every program is different, but mine averaged your science GPA (biochem I & II + lab and microbiology + lab, and after I got accepted they added A&P I & II + lab as a pre-req instead of a co-req). You needed to have at least a C or better in all classes but it's the science courses that mattered the most. They would decide on a cut-off GPA...so for example, anyone with a science GPA of 3.4 or higher would be accepted and everyone else would be placed on a waiting list. This cut-off GPA was different each year.

So really, you need to study hard and focus on your science courses.


300 Posts

Look at all your options before committing to anything as a volunteer. If in the future you want to work in LTC then volunteer there, same goes for acute but if you want to be in the OR ask about work experience observations


27 Posts

Specializes in ER volunteer.

But don't count out volunteering all together. I was so much more comfortable when I started clinicals because I had already been exposed to the hospital environment through my volunteer work. It doesn't really matter where you volunteer; pick a field that interests you. You'll be immersed in the healthcare world pretty much anywhere (unless you're volunteering behind a desk; that might not be as helpful), and you have no idea how much that immersion will benefit you when you finally are in nursing school, regardless of whether the admissions officers look at it beforehand.

Just don't pick up too many hours. Turnforthenurse is right, grades are important for getting in. And then when you are in, you'll need plenty of time to do all your reading.