Many nurses have, before retiring, spent countless hours on the job in a high pressure environment. If, after a few years of retirement you realize that you miss the excitement of nursing, a very high-energy career, and you find that you still feel called to service others, consider the benefits of volunteering. Volunteer medical care workers are in high demand, both here and abroad. Here are a few organizations and positions you may want to check out.
- Peace Corps
While many consider the Peace Corps to be a group that more actively recruits recent college graduates, in recent years, this volunteer organization is shifting its focus to older, more mature volunteers. All retirees who are in good health are welcome to apply, and those who have medical expertise are especially sought after. If you want to embark on a minimum two-year-long adventure overseas, in which you’ll be called upon to help those in some of the poorest and most conflict-ridden countries in the world, consider signing up for the Peace Corps.
2. Community-based nursing
Only a few days ago, the New York Times ran an article about faith-based community nursing across the nation, a movement that is helping provide nursing to the elderly, who otherwise don’t have access to health care. The article notes that some 15,000 nurses, working for little or nothing, provide care for a population that is “falling through the cracks.” Churches, synagogues, and other places of worship are donating large amounts of money to back their individual community-based nursing initiatives, which help volunteer nurses find work, mostly through women’s shelters, food pantries, health fairs, and more.
- Public education
Whether it’s working through public schools to teach health classes, or working for a non-profit organization like Planned Parenthood as an advocate, education is a field that is rife with opportunities for volunteer nurses. Shifting from a treatment-centered approach to working on prevention initiatives, especially with young people, can be extremely rewarding for nurses who want to help others help themselves.
These are just a few general areas that you may want to look into if you are still seeking work after retirement. Many retirees find that they want to put their skills to use to help others in need, and volunteer nursing is one of the best ways to do just that!