How Do I get a Camp job for next summer?

  1. 0
    Do they hire LPN's? I would really love to do this during the summer...
  2. 13 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I believe most camps will hire LPNs. Check out the American Camp Nurse Association, they have a lot ofinfo and jobs posted. Association of Camp Nurses - ACN Also check craigslist.com.
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    I got my first job through this website... http://www.campnurse.info/ they wont start posting new jobs until around february or so. I recomend against going through an agency, they take massive fees out of already small salaries. PM me if you wish to discuss specifics... I have done camp nursing for two years now and LOVE it.
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    I'm an LPN and have been a camp nurse 2 summers. Before I was a nurse I did 2 summers as "Camp Health Officer"--the minimum requirements for the position were CPR for the Professional Rescuer and Red Cross Responding to Emergencies. As others have mentioned, check the ACN website and/or contact the camps in your area to find out their requirements.
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    I had sent out emails to several camps last winter, inquiring whether or not they hire LPNs. Some do, some don't. Every part of the job was within my scope of practice anyway. I think some camp recruiters just think it's more prestigious to have all RNs on staff.
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    I think some camp directors are completely ignorant of the differance between RN and LPN. I agree with Sue I have never felt restricted in my role as a camp nurse. As a matter of fact the only static I have ever gotten was from one of the other nurses.
  8. 0
    I was talking about this the other day with someone. It sounds like so much fun. Can anyone that has done it tell me about what your days were like? Did you like it or wish you never did it?
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    I liked it a lot. It wasn't perfect, but I would do it again. I was one of two nurses -- I'm an RN and the other nurse was an LPN. We were each on duty 6 days out of 7, had 2 hours off each day, and alternated nights being on-call. We were given free rein on how we wanted to set up and operate the infirmary, but I'm sure we were expected to operate it generally as it had been historically. The infirmary was in a lovely old wooden frame building with the office and examination room in front. There was a large open room with an unused fieldstone fireplace, which had two bathrooms off it. Also off this room were two sick rooms, each with 4? 6? beds, and one isolation room with 1 bed. Behind this was a small kitchen with microwave and fridge, table and 2 chairs, and off each side of the kitchen a bedroom for each nurse. One bedroom had a double bed and 2 bunks. The other bedroom had a double bed and a futon and its own door to the outside. It was rustic but adequate. The entrance was through a screened porch that ran the width of the building in front. The porch was completely furnished with old couches and chairs, low watt lighting, and a round dining table. During the day, on the table we kept: a 5 gallon insulated beverage dispenser filled with ice and water, a big bowl of apples, and assorted tubs/bottles of sun screen and bug spray. It was a lovely place to sit and watch the goings on and greet campers coming to visit or get a drink, or to get attention because of an ailment or injury.

    I was a soft-heart. I had ginger ale for the upset stomachs, and a few different kinds of tea for the older kids: chamomile, ginger, green. I also had instant hot chocolate and plain cookies for those late night visitors. I was not averse to dosing with TLC for the younger campers who were homesick, or those who were over-stimulated or overcome with adolescent angst: everyone was welcome to spend a quiet hour or two on the porch or take a nap on one of the beds. The nurse I worked with was a hard-heart who called me a sucker. I didn't like her very much, but I was glad to have another nurse with me so that I got some relief. She was also very good at getting slivers out.

    I didn't think I'd like it and took the job out of desperation to work as a nurse. The enjoyment I found in working as a camp nurse was a nice surprise and one of the brightest moments I've had in an otherwise disappointing career.
    Alma 3323 and CampNurse1 like this.
  10. 1
    While camp nursing is often fun, I want to dispel the idyllic, lazy day stereotype that nurses, and lay people, might have about camp nursing. Camp nursing is hard work!

    I run health services year 'round for a special needs camp. Our population runs from age 10 to, well, 81 was our oldest camper last summer. They are all mentally and/or physically disabled, everything from head injuries, to polio, diabetes, spina bifida, seizure disorders, shunts, mental illness, muscular dystrophy, etc. We handle G-tubes, CPAPs, lots of catheters, etc. All this can be intimidating to a new nurse, but I train my nurses to think that this is everyday stuff for our campers, so, we'll do it right, but no big deal. I supervise a staff of three, and our typical census for seven 5 day sessions is about 80. Out of the 80, 65 or so will be on meds, and we have a lot of polypharmacy.

    Our campers' families often have the mistaken notion, that, because we are licensed, we are running a mini-hospital. I gently educate campers, staff, and families, whenever possible, this is not the case. Unless there is a physician, or advanced practice nurse on staff, which we do not have, RNs and LPNs can only offer first aid, wellness, medication passing, and nursing diagnosing. We camp nurses should not diagnose and treat illness unless the Medical Director is in on it. If one of our campers needs more than that, they are going to ER, our Camp Doctor, or home.

    A nurse who has not camped before should visit the camp she is considering if at all possible. Take a look at the health center. Clean and organized are obvious things to look for. But consider the size of the place. Our infirmary (oops! I used the old fashioned word) has four beds for our 80, or more, campers. I once worked at a camp that had 18 beds for a census of 60. Sure enough, I never had even a minute when some camper was not checked-in to the infirmary! High infirmary usage, especially overnight stays, were part of the "camp culture." High health center usage will use up the nursing staff quickly. My current Camp Director and I agree, if you have to spend much more than a night in the health center, it is probably time to get some advanced care, ER, or home. We're here to camp, not to live in the infirmary. BTW, make sure the Camp Director doesn't want to practice nursing. I asked a Camp Director once who the head nurse was. He said he was. That was a tough summer.

    During the summer sessions, our nurses' day begins at around 0700. We get ready for the day, and pass meds at 0800. I represent nursing at our daily senior staff meetings at 0900. I assign four hour infirmary shifts from 0800 - 1200, 1200 - 1600, and 1600 - 2000. The night call nurse, usually me, takes from 2000 to 0800. I am a night owl anyway, and my nurses love a good night's sleep. Many of the situations requiring director-level decisions happen a night, as well. If I do not have a client in the infirmary, I snooze. Often, I will admit a behavioral problem, so the rest of the cabin and staff can get some rest.

    Clients are in and out of the infirmary all day long. We patch their boo-boos, give advice and TLC, sometimes have a moment of horror and call the doctor or an ambulance, make rounds if the infirmary is quiet. We pull meds, sit on the porch, go swimming or down the zip line if we are off duty. (I never do camp activities. I am too afraid of being "out of the game" if something should happen, but I insist my nurses ride horses, shoot, or something during their down time. The campers and staff love it!) We pass meds five times a day. I spend my day "inspecting what I am expecting," checking documentation, the health center, rounding, being sure MARs and other documents are ready for the next session, calling parents or the doctor, etc. I am blessed with great nurses, so, often, the best thing I can do is stay out of their way.

    After supper, we pull meds again, and pass them around 2030, at the end of the evening activity. That's done by 2100, or so. We then make cabin rounds, to do treatments and to deal with any issues. The last thing I say to the staff at night is, "Call me if you need me, don't call me if you don't need me." I never scold the staff for unnecessary calls. They figure it out on their own, and I don't want to be the "mean nurse" stereotype. Then we pull 0800 meds. I usually make it back to my house around 2230. So, it's a long day, broken up by down time.

    I do hire LPNs, since the care level offered is well within their scope of practice. Since their job is identical to my RNs, I pay them the same (someone's gonna hate me for that!).

    So, here's a snapshot of our day. Good luck, and try it! If you have brains and heart, you will have an amazing summer.
    Alma 3323 likes this.
  11. 1
    What a wonderful entry. Can you say what part of the country you are in?

    When I did the camp nurse job, it took me awhile to learn to relax when I had the opportunity. I found it difficult to relax when I never left the work site.
    teeniebert likes this.


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