Nursing has always extended beyond the four walls of a hospital. In fact, that’s where the profession started.
From churches, schools, clinics, and camps to parks, homeless shelters, food banks, and emergency centers, nurses continue to play an integral role in society as agents of community service and volunteering.
In part one of this two-part series, we will take a look at three ways community service and volunteering can enhance your career in nursing and beyond.
A little volunteering goes a long way
Let’s face it: In today’s crazy world, society can use all the help it can get. By devoting just a little bit of your spare time to volunteering or community service, you can singlehandedly improve the lives of many.
To help put this into perspective, let’s suppose you volunteer just eight hours a month throughout the course of a year. This small effort could save a charitable organization $700 or more in wages that they would otherwise have to pay to an employee. If the charity happens to be a free meals service for the disabled, that money could result in an additional 150+ meals for people in need.
Community service builds your resume
Having community service or volunteering experience on your resume can be a major contributor in getting nurse managers or recruiters to call you in for an interview. This listing on your resume paints a positive picture of your character as a person, and presents you as a dedicated, selfless member of the nursing community.
Not only does community service show you are dedicated, but it also speaks to the practical experience you’ve had with a variety of different people. Getting exposure to patients of all backgrounds, conditions, statuses, and beliefs is invaluable education you cannot get in a classroom.
Volunteering enhances your health and well-being
Doing good for others out of kindness and compassion bears many gifts—and not just for the people you’re helping. Studies show that people who participate in community service or volunteering have improved emotional and mental wellness and are less likely to fall victim to depression and anxiety.
Because those who volunteer their time to help others are catching feel-good emotions on a regular basis, their stress levels become diminished, and in turn, they are more likely to achieve optimal health.
Stay tuned for part two of this series, where we will discuss three of the most desired community service and volunteering opportunities within the nursing field.
This article was originally published on Calling All Nurses