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Keywords:

  • nursing;
  • professional;
  • organizations;
  • rehabilitation nurses;
  • volunteerism

In this article, volunteer activity in professional organizations is explored. Volunteerism is defined as the giving of a person's time, energy, and talent to organizations without monetary compensation. A combination of other-serving or altruistic and self-serving or instrumental factors motivates people to volunteer. Examples of these motivations include wanting to help others, contributing to an important cause, encouraging an action, belonging to a community that promotes a positive sense of self, believing in a professional commitment to serve others, and being passionate about the things an organization brings to a profession. Challenges surrounding volunteerism are discussed in this article, and activities and opportunities for volunteer involvement in professional organizations are illustrated. Personal examples related to the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) that detail the ways in which members can get involved also are highlighted.