Volunteering and giving back is something that Nightingale College values.  Florence Nightingale, our inspiration, went miles above and beyond her duty as a nurse when she was helping soldiers in the Crimean War. As our values statement reads, “Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, lit the way for success with her unwavering values. Today and always, we commit to following her path of going Beyond Self.” Volunteering is the best example of going Beyond Self.

Twice a year, all collaborators participate in Give Back Days to give back to our community. This past August, we volunteered at OWCAP, an elementary school for kids in poverty, and at the Humane Society of Utah. To read a recap of the event, click here.

We also encourage our collaborators to volunteer on their own time. Mac McCullough, our Regional Manager of Partnerships, was recently recognized as a Hometown Hero for his extensive volunteer work. Although more people volunteer in Utah than any other state, Mac has managed to pass the state’s average in leaps an bounds.

We want our learners to volunteer and give back to their community as well.  We hope that our programs inspire our learners to go above and beyond their duties as a nurse, to not just churn patients out like machines, but really care for and love each one.

You already know that volunteering is good for the world, but here are some lesser-known personal benefits to volunteering:

  1. It benefits your health! It has been shown that when people volunteer, they are less likely to be depressed later in life because it gives you a sense of purpose.  This also helps to boost self-esteem and self-worth.
  2. You can meet likeminded people. It can be difficult as an adult to make friends, especially friends with similar interests.  When you volunteer for an organization you are passionate about, you will meet other individuals who share the same passion.
  3. You will learn new skills. There are many different things you can do when volunteering, and most of the time, you will learn a new skill for free!
  4. It is great for your resume. Especially in the health field, you can learn new technique, take that back to the work place, and put it on your resume.  Employers like to see that you are giving back to your community and gaining knowledge while doing it!
  5. You will have fun! Volunteering is a great activity to do with your family, especially young children.  It will teach them that you do not have to sit in the house to have fun; you can have fun outside, helping your community and people in need.

Who knew that volunteering is so good for your health and career? So now that we have you convinced that you should volunteer, here’s how to get started:

  1. Research different organizations and find one that you are passionate about. What interests you? Mental health? Physical therapy? Geriatrics? There are so many opportunities to serve. You can also search different organizations in your area for opportunities.
  2. Think about your skills. Volunteering in the medical field can give you more experience and is something you know how to do.  You can volunteer in your area of expertise to really help people in need.
  3. Volunteer with friends and family. It is great to start volunteering with your kids when they are young so they can grow up with these values.  It is also a fun way to spend time with your family and friends that is different and fulfilling. Taking your kids to visit an old folks home is an easy way to spread some kindness.

We hope that this will help you find ways to give back. Since Nightingale values this so much, we have created an award for a learner who actively volunteers, given out every semester.  The Community Fellowship Award is a prestigious honor learners can earn by actively volunteering in their community.  This award is presented to learners during the commencement ceremony.  For more information about this award and to apply, please contact Samantha Hanlon, LALR Counselor, at shanlon@nightingale.edu

References:

https://www.nationalservice.gov/serve-your-community/benefits-volunteering

http://www.volunteerscotland.net/volunteer/about-volunteering/benefits-of-volunteering/