Best prep to become a camp nurse?

  1. 0
    i'd like to become a camp nurse when my kids have grown and moved. i was a gs leader and loved taking my troop to camp and also love camping with my family.

    i am currently an lpn with little experience and am awaiting acceptance letters to rn schools here in so calif. i could possibly be a camp nurse while in school as the programs i've applied to have summers off. (that's if i and when i get in!)

    what recommendations would you give as far as education/job prep to fulfill my dream?

    i'll definitely be checking out that book someone posted about in another thread as well as the association of camp nurses...but, what else?

    thanks in advance for any advice!!

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  2. 16 Comments...

  3. 1
    The man who interviewed me had the philosophy that, for a camp nurse, it didn't much matter what education she had, LPN to CRNP. The skills, he said, get picked up along the way throughout the summer. What really mattered to him was that he recruit nurses that had a fun personality, someone who can relate to kids and be approachable. I am also a girl scout leader, and he was SO excited to get a nurse that had experience leading children, developing quality activities, and dealing with parents. If you are outgoing, funny or silly, empathetic to children's wants, needs, and fears, and don't mind taking the occasional pie in the face or dip in the dunk tank, camp nursing is for you.

    I also read "Camp Nurse" by Tilda Shaloff Camp Nurse: My Adventures at Summer Camp by Tilda Shalof (2009, Hardcover): My Adventures at Summer Camp(9780771079849): Tilda Shalof: Books She describes three different camps in which she worked. This gave me the insight on what to really expect, much more than anything any clinical book or association website could possibly offer.
    bellemoca likes this.
  4. 0
    Thanks for replying CloudySue!

    Camp Nursing sounds exactly like my cup of tea! I have the type of personality you describe and totally love having fun with the kids. (My GS camp name: Ima Nut) I hope that when the time comes I can find a camp that appreciates these qualities in addition to being able to utilize my nursing skills. The best of both worlds if you ask me!

    Thanks for the book recommendation too, I'll definitely check it out!
  5. 1
    Why are you waiting for your kids to be grown? Most camps will let them come along for free! My girls, 6 and 9, are so excited. I never would have been able to pay to send them.
    bellemoca likes this.
  6. 0
    I am waiting mostly because my sister has become the sole caregiver of our mom, and this summer I promised her that since I'm taking a break from school that our mom could come live with me so she could have a break.

    Also because there's a big gap in my kids' ages. My daughter is 17 (not quite ready to leave her home by herself!) and my son, who would loooove to go to camp is 10. I am still toying with the idea, if I could work it out logistically, maybe for a 2 week stint...

    On a side note, I ordered that book you recommended and it's on it's already on its way!
  7. 1
    I just got my first job as a camp nurse, and have been here for one week. I only have an associate's degree in biology and am starting nursing school in the fall. Maybe it depends on the state (I'm in North Carolina), but the camp director said that I only needed to be pursuing a medical degree and be well versed in first aid and CPR.

    To be honest, I was VERY nervous about the job at first, but took it anyways because I knew it would be an incredible learning experience. Our campers do not arrive until the 17th, but we had a youth retreat here from Dallas, TX this last week and they kept me very busy. I had a nail in the foot, bee stings, vomiting, and fevers (not all from the same person, of course). I just renewed my first aid and CPR so I knew that I knew everything really well but was really afraid that, when it came down to actually administering first aid, I would panic and not be able to remember anything.

    That was not the case at all and even just in this past week, I have learned so much and am very eager to start my nursing career. I have gone from anxious to optimistic. Best of luck to you!
    TeenyTinyBabyRN likes this.
  8. 1
    Kfransesca, I am confused as to why you are called a camp nurse when you have no nursing degree. Not all camps require a nurse however, they should not be calling you a nurse either.
    GrnTea likes this.
  9. 0
    Good point, bsyrn. You cannot pose as someone who needs a license to hold that particular title if you don't have one. What if you sent your child to a doctor and found out they weren't really a doctor? I'd be angry at any camp who misrepresented their professional staff.
  10. 0
    Bsyrn, the actual title is "healthcare coordinator".

    CloudySue, I'm not "posing" because most states do not require a license to hold this particular title. Furthermore, I highly doubt that parents send their children to summer camp based on the healthcare that they provide.
  11. 0
    And CloudySue, you said yourself that when you were interviewed, the man stated that "it didn't much matter what education she had".

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