How Do I get a Camp job for next summer?

  1. Do they hire LPN's? I would really love to do this during the summer...
  2. Visit GoosbyLPN profile page

    About GoosbyLPN, LPN

    Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 583; Likes: 72
    LPN; from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in Rehab, Geriatrics & School Nurse


  3. by   Nurse Connie
    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
  4. by   Alex Egan
    I got my first job through this website... 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.
  5. by   teeniebert
    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.
  6. by   CloudySue
    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.
  7. by   Alex Egan
    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. by   Peny
    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?
  9. by   hotflashion
    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.
  10. by   CampNurse1
    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.
  11. by   hotflashion
    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.
  12. by   CampNurse1
    I am in the Southeast. I liked the part of your post about cookies and TLC, and being a soft heart. I don't hire hard-hearted nurses. Contact me if you decide to work next summer.
  13. by   somedaypeds
    If you are still interested, try I believe they are around the country, but you might also look under Serious Fun Network.
    I volunteered at FFH a month ago and I loved it. It was truly a heartwarming experience. I have signed up for several more in 2013.
  14. by   Kooky Korky
    There are specialty camps - for asthmatics, for CP, for diabetics, for the blind, for the overweight, and for special interests - computers, art, dance, drama, horses, wilderness survival, religious camps, general interest camps.

    Pick a location (NY or California or wherever you'd like to be) and call the director of whatever camps you are interested in or go to their websites.

    Most camps let you bring camp-age kids for free.

    I always worked pretty hard as a camp nurse but our whole family went - wife worked as one of the Head Counselors, kids were campers. Wife and I got days off together and took some great side trips, as we were new to the areas where we worked. If you're between jobs and can take the whole summer, it's a good gig. Lots of teachers work at camps during their long summer leave from their schools.

    Be ready for appendicitis, chest pain (older staff), sunburn, bug bites, sore throats, upset stomachs, m. cramps, rashes, psych issues, kids needing allergy shots (never give these on camp grounds - they need to see a local MD and get their shots in that office/clinic for possible anaphylaxis treatment - you do not want to treat that in camp or rely on EMS to arrive quickly to a rural location), sprains, fractures, and so on.

    Happy Camping!

    Oh, let the kids call their own parents when it is necessary for you to speak with parents. The parents will be far less likely to flip out if they hear their child's voice before they hear, "This is ______, Susie's camp Nurse".

    Hold a teaching session with counselors re: handwashing and other basic hygiene measures, no sharing hair items, stuff like that. Also, remind them not to move an injured person if there's any suspicion of neck or back injury.

    Make sure emergency equipment is working - stretcher, neck stabilizers, emergency lighting, a "grab bag" for you to transport to the scene of emergencies - gauze, splints, ace wraps, ice packs, whatever you think you might need.

    Be sure to review staff and campers' health records for allergies, meds they need, etc. Know who is epileptic, diabetic, asthmatic, make sure kitchen knows about food allergies.

    An amazing number of campers and staff do not have these health records sent in for your review prior to camp (You'll arrive a couple of days before they do so you can set up the Clinic, review these records, meet your coworkers, get yourself settled before you have to start work). Make parents fill them out when they bring the kids to camp and make the Director aware of anyone whose records never reach you. Make sure your insurance covers you for camp nursing.

    Will there be a physician present? Will he or she hold clinic a few times per week?

    Just remember this is a professional job, no matter the setting. Again, good luck and have a great summer.

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