Adult Volunteering

Special Notice: Adult Volunteer Opportunities

Blue Megaphone

March 2022: The volunteer program is still in the process of returning its active volunteers safely to volunteering. The timeline for when new volunteer applications will be accepted is undetermined. The website will be updated when the program can again accept new volunteers.

We appreciate everything volunteers do for our patients, guests and staff. We look forward to welcoming volunteers back and will update our website when the volunteer restrictions are lifted.

About Adult Volunteering

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 uniform is $23, plus tax.

Commitment: Initial commitment of 50 volunteer hours

Onboarding Process: Prior to volunteering the applicant must complete:

  • Complete the online application during an application period (see chart below)
  • Reference checks
  • Interview/Information session—a review of program expectations, the onboarding process and specific information about available volunteer openings
  • BCI and/or FBI Background check
  • Individual health appointment
  • Provide copy of vaccination record
  • Tuberculosis blood test
  • Flu shot (required during flu season)
  • COVID-19 vaccine required
  • General hospital orientation (electronic or online)
  • Training for specific volunteer position

Application: We currently are not accepting new volunteer applications. Please continue to check the site periodically for opportunities. Below is a schedule that gives you an estimated timeline of our onboarding process. Please allow 6-8 weeks from the time of submitting your application to your actual start date.

Application Volunteering Schedule
Apply in January Begin volunteering by April
Apply in March Begin volunteering by June
Apply in May Begin volunteering by August
Apply in July Begin volunteering by October
Apply in September Begin volunteering by December
Apply in November Begin volunteering by January

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 can take two months to complete. 

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.

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

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.

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.

Please visit the College Volunteer page for further information.

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 knee-length skirt, and closed-toe shoes. Artificial/gel nails, visible tattoos and facial piercings are not permitted.