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Camp Nurse: Education and Career Information

Camp nurses are essentially those nurses you will find on retreats or in camp facilities. These nurses are very adept at handling cases with both children and adults, and have a number of roles to carry out for this position. They are used to dealing with a number of issues at one time, and are in a specialized field. Although most camp nurses are standard registered nurses, it takes a special person to choose to work in a camp setting with a number of personalities and individuals on a consistent basis. This person has to have a high degree of patience and stamina. They must be able to do some lifting, and critical thinking. For the right person who enjoys working with different types of people and may enjoy the outdoors, this would be a good choice.

What does a camp nurse do?

A camp nurse is a multifaceted role, and provides routine and emergency care to camp and retreat patients, camp and retreat staff, monitors individuals who have chronic diseases, works to educate campers and staff on disease prevention and other health issues, implement policies to reduce injury or illness and more. They are always on call when at the facility, and their role begins when the first person reports to the site. They must conduct wellness assessments and determine if there are any potential health risks. They must keep track of medical records, and review those records to make sure everything is in place and order. Camp nurses must be able to complete paperwork accurately, and work well with others. They must also be adept at handling special needs patients. These professionals must be able to handle any water-related emergencies, and broken bones until they can get the patient to a medical facility. They may work seasonally or year-round, as there are short-term, long-term and overnight camps.

How much does a camp nurse earn?

According to Glassdoor, camp nurses make about $25.00 per hour. This is based on education, experience, location and other criteria. The camp nurse may have housing, benefits and additional time-off as one of the incentives for hiring.

What types of skills are needed to become a camp nurse?

There are a number of skills needed to be successful as a camp nurse nurse:

Project management: A camp nurse must be able to successfully handle their clients and all the aspects of their cases. This requires a high degree of accountability and project management skills.

Reading comprehension: This role should be able to read clearly for comprehension and apply the information learned to assist with decision making.

Critical thinking: This role must use logic and reasoning to identify areas of strength and weakness, considering alternative solutions and approaches to problems they encounter.

Speaking: This job requires speaking with a number of people at different levels. The camp nurse must be able to effectively convey and extract information from a number of individuals in both medical and non-medical roles.

Active learning: A camp nurse must be able to learn about different processes, learn their patients and how to effectively deal with situations.

Observational skills: Study and observation work hand-in-hand. A camp nurse must have excellent observational skills in order to properly assess situations and recommend the best course of action for their patients.

Coordination: When studying particular subjects, having everything coordinated is key. This will help ensure subjects are grouped together to obtain the right information needed.

Problem-solving: A camp nurse must be able to think quickly and solve any problems that may arise. This could be a bee sting or something worse, like a broken bone. They must be able to calm the campers and handle the situation with care and tack.

Beyond standard nursing skills, a camp nurse must have some supervisory skills, and should be able to deal with a number of people at one time, especially if there is some type of outbreak. They should have a calm demeanor and work well under pressure. When dealing with children, patience is one of the key factors of doing a great job.

Internship Requirements

Internship requirements vary based on school, state and program. In order to become certified, a number of clinical and non-clinical hours are required based on level of education.

Education Requirements

To begin a nursing career, a student must enter into a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. This is a four-year commitment that will provide the foundation in which a nurse will advance throughout their career. Once this degree has been obtained, sitting for the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed as an RN is key. This will prepare the student for gaining experience and furthering their education.

Camp nurses are specialized positions and must take a number of extra courses to be well prepared for anything that may occur. If they desire to work at a camp or retreat with special needs patients, it would be wise to see certifications that apply to this area. They must also demonstrate their experience in this area in order to become qualified for these types of positions. If they are working with children, they may want to become PALS certified in order to be effective.

Having experience working in a medical facility or hospital as an RN beyond the standard internship hours is mandatory to be successful. In addition, becoming a member of the Association of Camp Nurses (ACN) is recommended, as this is a professional nursing association that was designed to foster healthier camp communities for camp nurses.

This role is very effective and an integral part of any camp setting. It is the camp nurse that works to ensure everyone remains in good health and injury-free. There are a number of behind-the-scene protocols that are a direct result of the camp nurse and their programming. This could be a very lucrative and rewarding career path.

Nursing Scholarships

American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) American Cancer Society Doctoral Degree Scholarships in Cancer Nursing Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship
The Gates Millenium Scholars (GMS) National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA)
New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Nurse Corps Scholarship (NCS) Nurses of Tomorrow
Nursing Economics Foundation Tylenol Future Care Scholarship American Holistic Nurses Association
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