7 Volunteer Nursing Jobs to Feed Your Soul

nurse volunteer

By Tyler Faust, M.S.N., R.N., PHN, contributor

Nurse volunteer opportunities abound and can be a fulfilling way for nurses to give back in different settings. Nurses are compassionate individuals who put the needs of others before themselves, and they do this without asking for anything in return. However, opportunities to do this don’t have to stop at work: consider nurse volunteering to use your highly valuable skills for the betterment of your community or someone in need.

LEARN more about travel nursing jobs across the U.S. in need of nurses like you!

1. Volunteer with The American Red Cross

Since 1888, nurses have volunteered for the American Red Cross to help people in times of need. Today the Red Cross has more than 15,000 nurses who are involved in providing natural disaster resources, teaching and developing courses, managing blood drives, and acting in many other leadership roles throughout the organization. Whether you are a licensed nurse or a student nurse, volunteer nursing jobs with this vital organization will surely feed your soul!

2. Disaster relief 

When a tornado tears through a town or flooding leaves whole cities under water, nurses are on the front lines providing aid. You can volunteer to help with disaster relief in critical times of need, but you will need to get the proper training to bring the much-needed help when disaster strikes. Providing disaster relief can be done on a local or national level.

Related: Hospitals and Disaster Preparedness: How Ready Are We?

3. Address worldwide issues 

Nurse volunteers can make a tremendous difference in people’s lives by volunteering to serve the underprivileged internationally. Many organizations address public health issues and need nurses and volunteers to address maternal, neonatal, and child health; disasters and health crisis; infectious and chronic diseases; and health policy. Doing this, you can work with global experts to help solve these issues worldwide.

4. Help other RNs serve

Maybe you’re passionate about helping mobilize other nurses to give their time to a good cause. Or maybe you’re no longer able to perform nursing duties directly. Either way, many organizations need people who can help form strategic partnerships, raise money, and write grants, and you can play a critical role in improving the world by doing so. These vital operations support many nonprofit organization’s ability to function: do not forget about the work behind the scenes!

5. Medical missions

Medical missions are organizations that bring together qualified health care providers to offer free services to those in need. Volunteer opportunities can be short-term, long-term, domestic, or international. Often medical missions will provide surgical procedures or testing to third world countries and give access to people who otherwise would never have the opportunity to get necessary procedures performed.

6. Teach CPR 

Ever considered volunteering your time to teach CPR? As a nurse, you are proficient in CPR and qualified to teach other people this life-saving skill. Use your experiences and clinical expertise to make sure more people in your community and around the world know CPR. You could help save a life without even being there!

7. Help others smile

Volunteering your time to literally help others smile is one of the most beneficial things you can do. This can be done by donating your time and/or skills to organizations that perform cleft lip or cleft palate operations to children in need, such as Operation Smile

By volunteering with any of these or similar organizations you can change a person's life for the better, and what could be more rewarding than that?


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