RN to BSN Project - need camp nurses input!


  • Specializes in Pediatrics, School Nursing, VNA, Camp. Has 5 years experience.

We've had a really rough summer here at camp already. I've been a camp nurse at an all boys camp for 4 years and this year for the first time, my new graduate nurse didn't pass the boards. I've been working 24 hour call in the health center for 7+ days with no end in sight.

As part of my RN to BSN project - I was going to create some training videos for camp nurses. In addition to that, I am hoping to develop a safe practice policy for time on duty. Based on my own personal experience, I can find myself slipping with no breaks and no chance to get out of the infirmary. I attempted to do a little research online so I could go to my director (who thinks its perfectly ok for me to work this long without a break) with some ammunition, but there is none out there. I've also contacted my state board of nursing but their attitude was "you do what you think is best".

Please message me with your experiences with time off policies/breaks and shift length with a brief description of your camp.

Specializes in Urgent Care NP, Emergency Nursing, Camp Nursing. Has 12 years experience.

The camp I used to work for, and currently volunteer at, is a BSA-operated camp with multiple sub-camps where the campers actually stay The vast majority of our census is comprised of Boy Scouts ages 11-17 and their adult leaders. Scouts attend as part of an organized unit, usually a Scout Troop. Regular medication is administered by Unit Leaders (who fill out a MAR which is turned in to the Health Lodge at the end of the week), and basic first aid is administered by either unit leaders or sub-camp staff. The Health Officer(s) are centrally located in the Health Lodge, though may be anyplace in the camp when on-call. Health Officers are reachable via camp radio, and generally respond to trauma or acute medical conditions in the sub-camps or in the Health Lodge.

On and off-times depend on staffing - if there's only one Health Officer, they're never off-duty. The problem is not one of constant work, but mind-numbing sameness. During weekends when census is very low, a lone Health Officer may leave camp with permission of the overall camp director, at which point local 911 deals with issues. This is avoided when possible by having at least two Health Officers on duty, either full-time or as supplemental coverage, allowing for some evenings off.

Going by your description, this is probably nothing like the situation at your camp. However, you asked, and I answered.

eriksoln, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 2,636 Posts

Specializes in M/S, Travel Nursing, Pulmonary. Has 15 years experience.

Oh my gosh. I'd love to be able to view your video once you are done with it. I want to break into camp nursing but..........will wait until I have my BSN..........for various reasons.