Published Aug 11, 2021
I'm curious how you all got started in camp nursing? Start in your own state? Part time Summer gig along side another job? Did you obtain licenses in other states? Insight into this? Is it easy to get hired for the first camp nurse job? Do you travel to various jobs year round and come home for periods of time?
I had an epiphany this morning that this is what I want and should be doing while I still can! I'll spare you the details there. I'm curious on other's perspective in this field. Did you leave/come back? Been doing it for years?
Opinions and thoughts are all welcome. My kids are grown, I'm very active & love the outdoors. I currently cover our insurance but can switch over to my husbands for next year if I pursue this.
Thanks for your thoughts!
I work in my own state, usually close to home but I'm lucky to live in Pennsylvania where camps are plentiful.
I started at the camp I was planning to send my daughter to and we had our first year together. I was a per diem ICU nurse and PALS instructor at the time. Later I took a school job to compliment my camp habit but I didn't love it. After camp this year, I'll be returning to peds home care. Currently, I'm at a one week only camp but if it was a full season, I know home care would still work since many cases are school based. (Of course, some are consistent year round and others like more nursing in Summer)
I started once both my kids were a good age for camp. Knowing my amazing experience at Summer camp as a kid, I wanted to give them the opportunity. I asked around and was referred to a camp in NH. We live in Massachusetts.
I was hired, and signed on for two weeks only. I'm a school nurse, so my summers were open. I decided to give up my per diem gig at the hospital. I did have to obtain a NH license, but it was not difficult. When I was casually looking into camp nursing, I put a resume on a camp nurse job site, and within hours had several people reach out with interest. So yes, I think it's fairly easy to get hired as a camp nurse if you have a clean record.
We continue to return to the same Summer camp each year. This will be our 4th year, and we (the kids and I) are going for 5 weeks. Camp is my home away from home., and I miss camp throughout the school year. I've made some really special connections with people from all over the world. The health staff at my camp is supported and well respected. The workload is fair. I'm certain I will continue to work as a camp nurse, even when my kids are no longer campers.
There are so many camps looking for nurses each Summer. Find an accredited camp in an area that interests you. If your home state is a compact state, it may make licensing in other states a breeze. Ask how staffing is done, how far the nearest hospital is, what physician/ NP/ PA resources are available for consult, type of house for yourself, ect. Every camp is different. Wishing you all the best in your first Summer camp experience!
quickkarma, ADN, BSN
Thank you for your response-this is helpful information! I just started a new job as a licensed school nurse; coming in at the peak of covid has not been fun, but I love working with the kids. (I do keep asking myself why I left my good paying job? but I know why?) I do not live in a compact state, but I know my state is considering it. It would make camp nursing out of state much easier for certain. My kids are grown but I still have so much energy.
vampiregirl, BSN, RN
I'm a hospice nurse who volunteers for one week each Summer at a YMCA Camp. It's the same camp that I spent the summers of my high school years working in the kitchen!
The camp is 10 min from my house, so licensure isn't an issue.
I absolutely love it - great change of pace. I'm a volunteer EMT in my community so I have a skill set that works with camp.
If you are interested in pursuing camp nursing the Association of Camp Nursing is a wealth of information: www.acn.org
The membership cost is well worth it for me. They also have job postings for nationwide camp nurse listings.
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