If you're involved in the nursing world, you know there's plenty of work to be done. With 2.6 million registered nurses, nursing is the largest health care profession in the United States [source: Maryland Health Careers]. But, as in any profession, job burnout is common. One day you're happily taking a patient's temperature, and the next day you just want to stay in bed. The best way to regain the original magic is to stop looking at nursing as a job. Forget the corporate politics and snarky coworkers -- polish that stethoscope, straighten your scrubs and become a volunteer.
There are plenty of short- or long-term volunteer nursing opportunities, depending on your schedule. Small jobs can be found through your local doctors' offices, hospitals and schools. Larger or longer volunteering opportunities arise during natural disasters, on trips overseas or through nursing placement groups. Volunteer nurses have served with the American Red Cross since 1909. Today, roughly 30,000 nurses are actively involved [source: American Red Cross].
Whether you're working with a small-town medical facility or a worldwide organization, you can feel proud that you're using your skills on people who really appreciate your care and support. And you'll find that offering your time to those in need will provide you with the feel-good benefits of serving your fellow citizens.
No matter which type of nursing degree or certification you hold, you can volunteer. So what do volunteer nurses do? Read on to learn about volunteer nursing duties.