At a May 8 press event held at Harrisburg Hospital the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA), along with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), and Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders (PONL) introduced the "Nursing Exploration" patch. The patch is available to Girl Scouts in Pennsylvania and was awarded during the May 8 press event to 14 girls from a troop in Liverpool, PA., who are the first Girl Scouts in Pennsylvania to receive the new patch.
The 14 girls spent time shadowing a nurse as part of the patch requirements http://www.psna.org/PSNAinfo/activities.PDF
Barbara Miles, Hemlock Girl Scout Council Program Director and Sheri Matter, RN, Harrisburg Hospital's director of acute care services and the Liverpool Girl Scout Troop #481 assistant leader and Hemlock Girl Scout Council board member, congratulated the girls on their accomplishment as they awarded the girls their patches. "It's an exciting time to be a Girl Scout," said Miles. "For the past 90 years, Girl Scout activities have provided a wealth of learning and growing experiences to help girls develop self-esteem, leadership skills, character, and values needed to succeed in life. The new Nursing Exploration patch provides a way for Junior, Cadette, and Senior Girl Scouts to explore the important contributions that nurses make in caring for our communities.
It's no mistake that the patch program was introduced during National Nurses Week and at a time when the aging of America's baby boomers and the increased demand for nurses in specialized areas of care have combined to create a serious need for nurses. The Nursing Exploration patch program was based on a similar Girl Scout patch program in North Carolina and brought to the Commonwealth by the four sponsoring organizations.
"Promoting nursing as a viable career choice to today's youth is critical to preserving the future supply of nurses," said Michele P. Campbell, MSN, RNC, executive administrator, Pennsylvania State Nurses Association. "We're pleased to cosponsor this program, especially at time when a critical need for nurses is threatening the delivery of quality health care."
The Nursing Exploration patch activities are currently appropriate for Junior, Cadette, and Senior Girl Scouts (girls ages 8-17 or grades 3-12). HAP, PSNA, and PONL will continue to work with the 13 Girl Scout Councils across the state to implement career exploration activities for girls at the Brownie and Daisy Girl Scout levels.
In addition, the groups will work with other organizations to facilitate meaningful health care career exploration activities for all youth.
Girl Scout troops in Pennsylvania interested in completing the Nursing Exploration patch may contact any of the 13 Girl Scout Councils in Pennsylvania.