Academic journal article Creative Nursing

The Nurse as Volunteer

Academic journal article Creative Nursing

The Nurse as Volunteer

Article excerpt

When I retired after 30 years as a nurse, I did not want to retire from "nursing." I wanted to offer my nursing knowledge in some meaningful capacity. A good fit for me has been volunteering in a long-term care facility as a one-to-one visitor of long-term residents.

The director of volunteers at the facility selects the residents for me to visit. I am not identified as a nurse, and the residents I visit may not know of my nursing background, but that background enriches my interactions with residents and with staff.

To protect the privacy of the residents I am describing in this article, I am not identifying myself or the place where I volunteer. I can tell you how much I have come to care about each of the residents I visit. They have lived long, full, productive, and interesting lives. Most of their friends and close family are no longer living. They now find themselves with limited mobility, confined to one room as "home," and receiving few social visitors. …

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