8 Opportunities to Volunteer Your Nursing Skills in New York (and Build Your Resume)

NursingDecember 01, 2022

December 5 is International Volunteer Day, a day that recognizes people whose volunteer work benefits their societies, economies, and environment. If you’re building your resume, volunteering can be an important addition to your healthcare skills toolbox. Volunteering can sharpen your skills, help you discover a passion, and flesh out your resume.

Giving back benefits your community, but it also benefits you, too. Studies show volunteerism improves physical and mental health, provides purpose, and nurtures relationships. 

New York City offers a variety of opportunities. Here are some ideas to get you started. 

Your local hospital. Yes, you’ll already be doing clinical rounds in a hospital during your education, but extra volunteering in a hospital is a great way to gain additional experience with a nursing specialty you want to explore further. If you want to spend more time in Labor and Delivery or emergency care, for example, find out what your options are. 

American Red Cross. Founded in 1881, this organization relies on volunteers. As a nursing student, you could help with disaster preparedness in your community, assist with blood drives, work as a blood transportation specialist, help with vaccine or first-aid stations, or respond to a local emergency as part of a team. Find out what’s needed around the city.  

Project Sunshine. Like working with children? Project Sunshine is an organization that brings play and smiles to children in hospitals. While it won’t use nursing skills directly, it could be a way to find out if you like working with children. The New Jersey/NYC area has 5 chapters: New Jersey, NYC Astoria, NYC Harlem Hospital, NYC Ronald McDonald House, and NYC Metro/ NY Presbyterian. Search community chapters here

National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. This organization relies on volunteers to help provide healthcare to medically underserved people. Nursing and dental students are welcome, but some NYC clinics require students to be attending a specific college to volunteer. Search by zip code for a clinic in your area

NYC Health + Hospitals. This hospital system welcomes volunteers for a variety of roles, and it offers locations in Queens and Staten Island, along with the other boroughs. 

NYC Service. A division of the Office of the Mayor designed to deepen civic engagement; this NYC database allows you to search for volunteer opportunities. It might be easiest to search by organization to find relevant positions for your interests. 

Hospice Foundation. Many nursing students prefer working with younger patients, but hospice organizations provide many critical services to families and patients of all ages, not just the elderly. If caring for terminal patients doesn’t seem like your thing, you could volunteer to provide administrative work, childcare, assistance to the bereavement staff, and respite care for family members. Search by county for a NYC chapter. 

Try a database. With many databases you can sort by interest or location to find relevant opportunities.

  • VolunteerMatch is one of the largest databases for volunteers, connecting 15.2 million people to organizations globally.
  • JustServe. Search by project, organization, or zip code.
  • Idealist. Lists jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities for more than 120,000 organizations. Search by interest and location. 

Looking to jumpstart a career in nursing or dental assisting? St. Paul’s School of Nursing—campuses in Queens and Staten Island—offers programs in nursing, dental assisting, and medical assisting. Visit our website, or call (855) 822-3018 to speak to one of our admissions representatives or to schedule a campus tour.