Volunteering through an organization can gain valuable experience through addressing specific health needs or causes that matter to the nurse or student. Agencies like Red Cross and Operation Smile help nurses and other medical professionals gain experience while providing valuable medical care to those in need. These organizations, and hundreds of others, provide treatment across the globe, typically within underserved populations. To provide nursing care in these different organizations, a volunteer must be a licensed nurse. In fact, these opportunities may also be particularly suited to travel nurses and nurses with experience in other countries. However, many times a student nurse can still volunteer to help, performing more administrative and assistant tasks.
Other places that often need nurses and nursing students to offer services are within community free clinics. These organizations are non-profit, and often have many unfilled needs that impact the overall care patients receive. From hands-on nursing to administrative tasks, volunteers are always needed to care for those who cannot otherwise afford medical treatment. Within both types of volunteer positions, whether in a local free clinic or abroad through an organization, the experience gained not only affects patients and their loved ones, but can also be a way for a nurse or nursing school student to understand the challenges and triumphs of nursing.
Gaining experience in nursing can be a way to not only understand a nurse’s personal strengths and preferences in nursing, but can also be a way to grow a resume and stand out among competition for a nursing job. However, it is possible that the greatest gain from volunteering as a nurse or nursing school student is the personal satisfaction of helping others during difficult moments in life.