Even during the most fulfilling career paths and experiences, nurses may find it necessary to rejuvenate to avoid burnout. Volunteering offers an opportunity to engage in nursing-related activities while retreating from the routine and reassessing career goals.
Enjoying a diversity of experiences will help you recharge your batteries and add meaningful activities to your résumé.
Opportunities for Advocacy and Mentoring
If you are looking for ways to contribute to the field of nursing without working directly with patients, consider becoming involved with advocacy and policy issues. The American Nurses Association’s website has a link regarding policy issues and advocacy.
In addition, consider working with a local health department to write educational pamphlets, contribute to community newsletters or offer to give a seminar on a health topic of your choice. Speaking about your own career path can encourage others interested in nursing.
Becoming a mentor or tutor through a high school or college nursing program is another way to contribute to the field while helping others outside a medical setting.
Traveling for a Cause
The American Red Cross is a reputable source of opportunities for nurses wishing to work at home or abroad. There also are numerous nonprofits, both faith-based and secular, that recruit nurses for a diversity of assignments around the globe.
Consider volunteering as a nurse to accompany travel tours, school groups or patients with health issues who are traveling from one destination to another. Organizing a group of colleagues to assist with a special project in a community also carries intrinsic rewards that can bring a renewed sense of purpose to professional commitments.
Thinking Outside the Box
If you are looking for ways to use your nursing skills in a part-time or seasonal capacity, get creative in searching for opportunities. Events such as concerts, athletic races, community celebrations and county fairs require nurses to cover first aid needs. Theme parks, zoos and spa retreats also may offer seasonal nursing opportunities, as do many state parks and other tourist destinations.
One of the best aspects of nursing is its versatility. Using your talents in a variety of enjoyable settings can reinvigorate you and keep your skills up to date. In addition, volunteering allows you to explore other directions in nursing, such as training and advocacy, before fully committing to a change.
Volunteering Helps Secure Longevity
Being a nurse is one of the most important jobs. It can be a consuming career, however, so you need to work rejuvenation into your long-term professional development plans.
Volunteering provides an opportunity to share skills and knowledge in ways that can help you gain a different viewpoint on your career development. There are a variety of options for trying a new direction, working with a different population or visiting an exciting location. New experiences help you gain a healthy shift in perspective that can secure career longevity.