Help! First Time Camp Nurse


Hi everyone,

I have been a nurse for 20 plus years but never been a camp nurse.

Would love to hear from some of you that have been camp nurses.

I will be spending the month of July at camp.

What resource books should I take with me?

Any tips you can give me would be greatly appreciated.




2 Articles; 776 Posts

What kind of camp is it? Will you be the only nurse there?

The absolute best book is called The Basics of Camp Nursing. You can buy it on Amazon or through It's really invaluable. Other resources that might come in handy--a first aid guide and a drug book.

Always keep in mind that it ISN'T the hospital... kids are there to have fun and do activities, not rest in the health center. And it will probably not be a very clean environment compared to what you're used to... that's okay!

Those things may seem obvious, but when we have experienced RNs come to be camp nurses for the first time, those seem to be the two biggest problems they have.

Good luck! Camp nursing is a LOT of fun.

kcangel, LPN

48 Posts

Specializes in pediatric, neonatal, ER/trauma, camp. Has 12 years experience.

I agree that the book is really good, especially if you have little pediatriac or ER experience. Know how to treat home sickness.

Good resources - AAP, school nurse info, diabetes & asthma info, dehydration info - huge - has a lot of impact when kids are dehydrated and once fixed - bingo - a whole different kid.


1 Article; 142 Posts

Specializes in Camp/LTC/School/Hospital. Has 14 years experience.

Welcome to camp nursing. I really love it, and sing the praises of it, to all the nurses I meet. As the others, have said, the literature from is very helpful. Dehydration, bug bites, sunburns, sprains, cuts and sickness you will probably encounter it all. Good Luck this summer.

Has 26 years experience.

Some clues as to what to bring...

a good set of splinter forceps--camps have lousy ones...otoscope--look up DR. MOM otoscope (EBAY) for a inexpensive one...a little sewing kit from dollar store--get a eyeglass repair kit also (everyone stops by the infirmary and expects you to help them)...denture adhesive for replacing crowns that fall off during camp...Crystal Light to go packets to treat yourself and give as little gifts to staff (Crystal Light--the camp evening cocktail)...a drug book--paperback PDR for under $10...Benadryl --be sure camp has some but keep a bottle in your suitcase just in case...several little stuffed animals for both boys and girls to give to campers who are homesick, as a prize if they lose a tooth or are confined to infirmary (again Dollar store has stuffed animals)...Glow sticks for your kid to give to fellow cabin mates (that way you can spot them walking around at night) a Super Soaker 6000 75 ft squirt gun...a sense of ready to have some fun


2 Articles; 776 Posts

Better yet, ask your camp to buy many of those things if they don't have them... many will, and many more will be glad to buy an eyeglass repair kit for the health center.

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