Online Program

Nurse camps: Are they effective in workforce development?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Janet Primomo, PhD, MN, BSN, Nursing, University of Washington Tacoma, Tacoma, WA
Liesl Santkuyl, MPH, MultiCare Center For Healthy Living, Tacoma, WA
Carrie Park, MN, BSN, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA
Elin Bjorling, PhD, MA, Nursing and Healthcare Leadership Program, University of Washington Tacoma, Tacoma, WA
Background: Intensive summer camps are a strategy to recruit diverse youth grades 9-12 into nursing and health professions and meet future workforce needs. A Pacific Northwest health system has offered a nurse camp since 2004. The week-long camp is free and builds upon strong partnerships with high schools, local colleges, and universities. Activities include observation as well as hands-on participation in the daily activities of nurses and other healthcare professionals, including those in public health. Although many nurse camps exist throughout the U.S., the influence that camps have on motivating participants to enter nursing or a health care field is not known.

Purpose and Methods: A web-based survey was conducted with former nurse camp participants who were at least 18 years old to determine the long term outcomes of nurse camp.

Results: 153 former nurse camp participants completed the survey. Most respondents were white (72%), followed by Asian (10%), Black (7%) and Multiethnic (7%). Their mean age was 21 years. About 84% (n=128) were currently enrolled in higher education: 24% were pre-nursing, 38% were in nursing programs, 20% were in various health-related programs, and 18% were in other fields. 70% reported plans to pursue a nursing career in the future. For those who graduated (n=49), 43% had a nursing degree. About 88% of respondents agreed that nurse camp influenced their decision to pursue a nursing career.

Conclusion: Nurse camps can be an effective strategy to encourage high school students to seek a career in nursing and other health professions.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Describe the effectiveness of nurse camp as a strategy to recruit high school students into nursing and healthcare professions.

Keyword(s): Nurses, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I helped conceptualize the study, obtain humans subjects approval, develop the website to collect data, and direct the analysis and write-up of results.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.