Camp Nurse

Camp nurses provide health care and medical expertise to people of all ages attending camps and retreats. Their settings could range from a summer long camp of boy scouts in the forest, to a group of terminally ill cancer patients during a weekend retreat at a hotel.

Because the campers could include youths and adults, chronically ill or perfectly healthy, camp nurses should possess a wide range of medical knowledge and skills. From treating poison ivy and mosquito bites to broken bones and camp fire burns, the list of conditions they could possibly be faced with is endless.

Typical duties can include: orientating staff, making sure each adult is able to effectively spot potential medical problems with campers and are aware of possible camping hazards; establishing a health center, from stocking first aid supplies to ensuring all equipment is functional and clean; and managing communicable diseases, having a plan of action should a case of chicken pox or the flu breakout during a camping session.

What is a Camp Nurse?

A Camp Nurse is a licensed health care professional who delivers comprehensive care in a camp setting. Their role ensures the health and well-being of all campers and staff. This involves:

  • Providing first aid and emergency care.
  • Overseeing the health of campers and staff.
  • Managing health records.
  • Educating on health and safety practices.

They are the first line of medical attention in an environment where accidents can happen suddenly. Their role is not just curative but also preventive, teaching campers and staff how to stay safe during activities.

Qualifications and Job Duties

To be a Camp Nurse, you must possess:

  • An Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in nursing.
  • An active RN license.
  • Additional experience in Pediatrics or Emergency Care is beneficial.

The job duties of a Camp Nurse include:

  • Conducting health assessments.
  • Providing first aid and emergency care.
  • Managing health records and medical supplies.
  • Guiding campers and staff about health and safety.

Salary and Job Outlook

Camp Nurses can expect to earn between $25 and $40 per hour, depending on factors like the camp’s location, duration, and size.

FactorImpact on Salary
LocationDifferent regions have varying rates.
DurationLonger camps may offer higher compensation.
SizeLarger camps with more attendees typically pay more.

Additional benefits can include free accommodation and meals. The demand for Camp Nurses peaks during the camp season, offering unique work opportunities for nurses seeking seasonal roles.

How to Become a Camp Nurse

Camp nurses are generally registered nurses, but in some cases can be licensed practical nurses. To become a licensed practical nurse, a candidate should complete an 18-24 month training course that includes classes in anatomy, physiology, medications and patient care and successfully pass a national licensing exam.

Registered nurses must earn either a two or four year degree in nursing and also pass a national licensing exam. Currently there is no separate certification for being a camp nurse, but it is recommended that those interested in working as a camp nurse be trained and knowledgeable in CPR and first aid.

The Association of Camp Nurses is a professional organization dedicated to the advocacy and education of camp nurses. They provide great resources and information for nurses that are interested in working in the camp environment, as well as those nurses that already practice the discipline.

From newsletters and continued education opportunities to workshops and symposiums, this organization is dedicated to promoting camp nursing.

Becoming a Camp Nurse involves:

  • Earning an Associate or Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
  • Passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
  • Acquiring clinical nursing experience.
  • Securing certifications such as CPR and Wilderness First Aid.

Clinical experience in pediatrics or emergency care is highly valued. Some camps also require training in managing allergies or chronic conditions.

Benefits of Being a Camp Nurse

Working as a Camp Nurse comes with several benefits:

  • A refreshing change from typical clinical settings.
  • New challenges every day.
  • Direct impact on campers’ and staff’s health.
  • Personal and professional growth.

Camp Nurses find immense satisfaction in their role, particularly for those who enjoy outdoor activities and impacting others’ well-being.

Typical Places a Camp Nurse Works

Camp Nurses typically work in various types of camps, including:

  • Summer camps: Known for recreational activities and adventure.
  • Educational camps: Focused on learning experiences.
  • Specialty camps: Catering to children with specific needs or chronic conditions.

These diverse environments provide unique work experiences that can offer a refreshing change of pace for those looking to diversify their nursing career.

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