5 Nurse Volunteer Opportunities for RNs Who Love to Give Back
By Kathy Marshall, Contributor
Are you looking for nurse volunteer opportunities? With compassion and a drive to help others, nurse volunteers fill many vacant spots in underserved areas.
Whether you volunteer at a community event or a summer-long camp, serving as a nurse volunteer allows you to extend your reach beyond the hospital doors.
For nurses who work permanently in one location, options are more limited for finding nurse volunteer opportunities.
However, in the role of a travel nurse, you will come across countless avenues to volunteer your skills.
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5 Nurse Volunteer Opportunities for RNs
1. Nurse Volunteer at Children’s Camp
Children’s camps are constantly looking for nurse volunteers throughout the year.
Whether it’s a camp catered toward children with disabilities or action-packed activities, nurse volunteer opportunities abound at children’s camps.
Working as a nurse volunteer at a children’s camp requires a special level of communication and understanding. Children are often fearful of medical providers, so you should be able to exude a calm, welcoming demeanor.
Remember that many children at camp are without a family member. Any emergency may arise, and it will be an extra challenge to help your young patient remain calm.
2. Nurse Volunteering for Adventure Travel
Being a nurse volunteer doesn’t mean only checking blood pressures or handing out band-aids.
A type of recreational travel that has gained popularity in recent years is adventure travel, and nurse volunteer opportunities exist in that field.
Willing tourists can opt to stay on a real working ranch or head out on a survival challenge, and medical assistance may be needed in such scenarios.
As a nurse volunteering at any of these venues, your work is likely to rarely be boring!
3. Nurse Volunteer Opportunities in Disaster Response
In any large disaster, natural or man-made, emergency first responders can quickly become overwhelmed.
In these situations, many communities have developed disaster response teams that are made up of volunteers, including nurse volunteers.
In disasters, those who provide medical care and help are usually affected, the same as the community they serve. Being an RN that can step in and supplement quality care while local staff try to handle their personal affairs is one of the most meaningful acts you could do.
As a nurse volunteering on a disaster response team, you will be faced with delivering medical care in a variety of environments.
These nurse volunteer opportunities are especially good for travel nurses, who are adept at acclimating quickly to different settings and have excellent communication skills.
4. Nurse Volunteer for Underserved Communities
Despite the prevalence of hospitals and clinics across the country, there are many people who do not ever receive medical care.
In response to this, many communities and organizations have established medical clinics on the go that are run by nurse volunteers. Volunteering in this capacity, you serve people who feel forgotten.
Homeless shelters, churches, and community centers become your clinic. Armed with limited supplies, you will be challenged to provide the medical care you are accustomed to giving.
But by taking the time as a nurse volunteer to reach people who have no other access to medical care, you often may be the one person that really makes a difference.
5. Nurse Volunteer Overseas
Never have there been so many opportunities for nurse volunteers in this country, but nurse volunteering is not limited to the United States.
Many nurse volunteer opportunities exist overseas. You can serve as nurse volunteer in an orphanage, a refugee camp, or a medical facility around the world.
As an overseas nurse volunteer, you could affect people who struggle with the most basic requirements for survival.
As a nurse volunteer at an orphanage, for example, not only will you deliver much-needed medical care, but you will show children the kind of unconditional love that they may not be accustomed to.
Serving in a refuge camp, you can provide people with hope. Volunteering beside the local staff of a bombed-out medical facility, your very presence tells people they have not been forgotten.
If you decide to serve as a nurse volunteer, remember that whatever avenue you choose to provide your services, whether it be at a kid’s day camp or a refugee camp, your purpose is to touch the lives of the people you are helping.
Beyond changing dressings or administering medications, you are telling another human being that they matter.