Adult Volunteers :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Adult Volunteers

Volunteering Schedule

Application Volunteering Schedule
Apply in February Begin volunteering by April
Apply in May Begin volunteering by July
Apply in August Begin volunteering by October
Apply in November Begin volunteering by January

Nationwide Children's Hospital Adult Volunteer Program

Who: Adults, 18 years and older and out of high school

What: Volunteers provide support to patients, families, and staff in a wide variety of roles. Some assignments have direct patient contact, others are more supportive.  Assignments can include patient units, clinics, the information desk and sibling clubhouse. Please see frequently asked questions below for more information. 

When: Assignments will be same day/same time each week, typically 2-3 hours. Weekend and evening positions are limited.

Where: Primarily at the main campus; however, there are some limited opportunities at the Close to Home locations.

Cost: Volunteer polo shirt is $23 or vest is $23, plus tax.

Commitment: Initial commitment of 6 months.

Process: The application process includes:

  • Complete the online application during February, May, August and November

  • Reference checks—Nationwide Children's will send forms to those non-family members you select

  • Information session—provide you with an overall picture of the program and specific information about available volunteer openings

  • BCI and/or FBI Background check

  • General hospital orientation (available monthly)

  • TB blood tests, provided by Nationwide Children's

  • Flu and Tdap vaccination documentation (required) 

  • Training for specific volunteer position

Application: Adult volunteer applications are currently closed as we have reached capacity for the quarter. We will be accepting new volunteers again in May 2018.

Please review the FAQs below. If you have additional questions, we will be happy to answer them. 

Phone: (614) 722-3635

Frequently Asked Questions about being an Adult Volunteer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital


Volunteering at Nationwide Children's Hospital is not a good match for everyone. We are happy to share about our program to make sure you are well-informed.


Thank you for being so excited to volunteer! Part of the process; however, is making sure we look after the safety and security of our young patients. This means we require references, a background check, and training in areas such as confidentiality, infection control, safety and security, among others before a volunteer can begin. Generally, this means the application process takes about 6 weeks.


Patient unit volunteers are self-starters who need to feel at ease interacting with patients and their parents/adults who are with them. The hospital’s units; however, are not divided by age. So on a unit, a volunteer would need to enjoy interacting with any age patient—infants, toddlers, school-age, teens and even the occasional adult.


We do not have an official volunteer-to-work program. All of our volunteer assignments are in areas where the department has requested a volunteer. The objective of being a volunteer is to support patients, families, and staff.


Yes, we have a large number of college students in our volunteer ranks. Communicate with your coordinator and every effort will be made to work with your schedule. If you are a college student home for the summer, you will need to apply early in the spring to allow for our application and placement process.

Please visit the College Volunteer page for further information.


Many people think assignments only involve playing with children. We have many departments requesting volunteer assistance in more clerical/support roles.


It may be possible to place you in assignments on the same day and at the same time, but generally, departments request only one volunteer per shift. So, you would not be in the same assignment.


Volunteers are required to purchase and wear a uniform while volunteering.  If financial hardship exists, arrangements can be made to get a uniform at no charge.  In addition to the uniform polo or vest, volunteers must wear their name badge, long pants (no jeans) or knee-length skirt, and closed-toe shoes.  Artificial nails, visible tattoos and facial piercings are not permitted. 

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000