Adult Volunteering

Special Notice: Adult Volunteer Opportunities

Blue Megaphone

The Volunteer Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is now accepting applications. The assignment areas volunteers will be placed in are currently limited to: The Sibling Clubhouse, Wayfinding and Toy Washing. Applicants with Monday- Friday and 8am-4pm availability will be prioritized. We are happy to consider applicants listing other availability as evening and weekend needs arise.**

About Adult Volunteering

Who: Anyone 18 years of age and older

What: Volunteers provide support to patients, families, and staff in a wide variety of roles.

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

Where: Primarily on the main campus.

Cost: Volunteer uniform is $24, plus tax.

Commitment: Initial commitment of 50 volunteer hours

Onboarding Process: Prior to volunteering the applicant must complete:

  • Complete the online application
  • Reference checks
  • Group Interview—this will also provide you with an overview of program expectations, the onboarding process and specifics about available volunteer openings
  • BCI and/or FBI Background check
  • Provide copy of the following vaccination records—COVID-19, Tdap, MMR, and Varicella
  • Flu shot annually
  • Tuberculosis blood test
  • General hospital orientation (electronic or online)
  • Training for specific volunteer position

Application: We are currently accepting applications for the following assignments: Sibling Clubhouse, Wayfinding and Toy Washing. Please allow 3-6 weeks from the time of submitting your application to your actual start date as onboarding process will vary person to person.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If I apply, am I automatically accepted?

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.

If I apply, how long before I can begin volunteering?

Thank you for being so excited to volunteer!

The process of becoming a volunteer will vary person to person depending on how quickly an applicant completes requirements.

I am looking for job experience; can I get that by volunteering?

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. Volunteering at NCH is an unpaid service role.

I am in college and my schedule changes. Can that be accommodated?

Yes, we have a large number of college students in our volunteer ranks. Communicate with your liaison 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 late winter to allow for our application and placement process.

I want to shadow or observe. I need those hours to apply to a professional program.

Shadowing, observation, and internship hours are scheduled through the Education Department. Call (614) 355-0678.

Do you have volunteer assignments in every department? I plan on majoring in "X" and want to get experience there.

We respond to the needs of the staff when placing volunteers. If a department has requested a volunteer, then that is where we place them.

I volunteered as a teen. Do I need to complete another application?

Yes, if you have not volunteered in more than one year. Please call or email for more information.

I have a long holiday break and I would like to volunteer at that time.

Thank you for thinking of Nationwide Children's Hospital. We know some breaks can be 4-6 weeks or longer. If you have volunteered with us before, contact us prior to your break and let us know your availability. You may need to complete some paperwork. If you have never been a volunteer, this just isn’t enough time to get through our process. Please plan on starting at the beginning of the school year or in the summer, then we would welcome you back during your breaks.

I need a letter of recommendation to apply for a school. If I volunteer in an area with these professionals, can I get someone to write me a letter of recommendation?

This is at the discretion of your volunteer liaison. When volunteers are assigned to an area, the staff is in no way obligated or expecting to write a letter of recommendation. Hours of service can be provided as a record for you.

I just want to come and rock babies—can I do that?

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.

What should I know about volunteer assignments?

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

Can I volunteer with a friend or family member?

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.

What are the uniform and dress code requirements to volunteer?

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 leggings) or knee-length skirt, and closed-toe shoes. Artificial/gel nails are not permitted.

We know college students are in a variety of situations, yet still want to volunteer. Please check to see if one of these scenarios matches your situation.

Going to college locally and staying in town for the summer.

Great! You are available year-round. Feel free to apply during any application period.

Going to college locally but leaving Central Ohio for the summer.

Please apply in July. We want to make sure you have enough time to apply, get trained and volunteer for the minimum service requirement. 

Going to college out of town/state but home in central Ohio for the summer.

Welcome Home! We appreciate your desire to help. Please apply in January or March as we need time to process your application and have you attend orientation. The placement opportunity for summer college students is in our Sibling Clubhouse. This area is extremely volunteer dependent and a great opportunity for volunteers. See information about the Clubhouse.

If you are available to volunteer past the summer, we would be happy to discuss other volunteer opportunities with you.