Volunteering your time and nursing knowledge not only helps you meet the active practice requirements needed to maintain your nursing license, but also gives back to your local communities.
The Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission defines “active practice” as engagement in paid, unpaid or volunteer activity performing acts requiring a nursing license. Active practice is not limited to the provision of direct patient care; the Commission recognizes that nurses use their nursing knowledge in a variety of positions and roles.
Below are just a few of many opportunities within the nursing profession to provide volunteer services throughout Washington state.
The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals, as well as other community members without health care backgrounds. MRC units engage these volunteers to strengthen public health, improve emergency response capabilities and build community resiliency. They prepare for and respond to natural disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, blizzards and floods, as well as other emergencies affecting public health, such as disease outbreaks. They frequently contribute to community health activities that promote healthy habits.
To volunteer with your local MRC, visit https://mrc.hhs.gov/FindMRC to locate the unit nearest you.
Access to health care continues to be a challenge for many Washingtonians. Hundreds of thousands of patients don’t have access to affordable health care, and many are served exclusively through the work of free and charitable clinics. Washington Healthcare Access Alliance supports the free and charitable health care organizations that provide care for people left out of the current system.
To join the more than 2,500 charitable clinic volunteers across Washington state who are providing much-needed health care to underserved patients, visit https://www.wahealthcareaccessalliance.org.
The Washington Healthcare Access Alliance's Volunteer and Retired Providers Program eliminates primary barriers to healthcare volunteerism by covering malpractice insurance for healthcare volunteers. License renewal is also covered for volunteers who only use their license for unpaid work. The program provides coverage for non-invasive care. Non-invasive medical care includes the administration of injections, suturing of minor lacerations, and the incision of boils and superficial abscesses. Obstetric care and procedures coded as surgery are not covered under non-invasive medical care. Professionally employed healthcare professionals with site-specific malpractice insurance coverage are eligible for this benefit. Healthcare volunteers credentialed with an active or retired active license also are eligible.
For more information, visit https://www.wahealthcareaccessalliance.org/vrp-program.
Seattle/King County Clinic brings together health care and nonprofit organizations, civic agencies, private businesses and volunteers from across Washington state to produce a giant free health clinic at Seattle Center. The four-day, volunteer-driven clinic provides a full range of free dental, vision and medical care to underserved and vulnerable populations in the region.
Visit https://seattlecenter.org/skcclinic/ for more information on how you can volunteer.