July 1, 2011

UW Nurse Camp creates collegiate opportunities for minority and low-income high school students

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

The UW  School of Nursing will host its third annual student-led Nurse Camp July 11‐15, 2011. The free day camp is designed for underprivileged and underrepresented high school juniors and sophomores interested in exploring the nursing profession and preparing themselves to pursue a college degree. This camp is made possible by the generous contributions of the schools faculty, staff and students, as well as local community groups and businesses, who have donated to support the camps commitment to diversifying nursing.

“Its inspiring that everyone at the school has come together to support this effort and to help make this happened for the future of nursing,” said Carolyn Chow, School of Nursing director of admissions and multicultural student affairs.

Across the nation, experts predict a nursing shortfall in 2018 that will grow to about 260,000 nurses by 2025, according to a June 12, 2009, report in Health Affairs. Nurse Camp‘s main goal is to provide a pipeline to college for minority and low‐income students in the Puget Sound.

UW Nurse Camp 2010 participants and volunteers.

UW Nurse Camp 2010 participants and volunteers.

The idea for Nurse Camp came out of the School of Nursings Diversity Awareness Group (DAwGs), composed of minority nursing students, alumni and allies. Their desire to better create community and inclusion for    underrepresented communities in healthcare motivated them to create this free camp for students. Out of over 75 applicants, this years participants include 24 students, all of whom are from underrepresented or underserved populations. Two young men are in the group.

“Nurse Camp gave myself and others confidence in allowing us to shadow, one on one, professional nurses instead of simply volunteering,” one participant from a previous camp offered as feedback. “”It was the most productive and fun thing I did all summer.  It was truly amazing ‐ my entire college essay was centered on Nurse Camp.”

Activities at the camp include a first day crash course for hospital staff including first aid, CPR, HIPPA (federal patient privacy rules), hand washing, infection control and technology in health care. The “Organ Lady,” UW School of Nursing alumna Colleen McElroy‐Williams will give campers an inside look at real human organs.

The campers spend the rest of the week shadowing nurses at University of Washington Medical Center, practicing nurse skills in the learning lab, and discovering different nurse specialties in a nursing “speed date” where campers meet  and talk with nurses working in all areas of healthcare, from forensic and public health to emergency services and research. On the final day, attendees will learn about applying to college and understanding financial aid. Camp ends with  a celebratory closing ceremony with family and friends.

The UW School of Nursing is consistently the nations No. 1‐ranked nursing school, according to U.S. News & World Report. Ranked No. 3 in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the UW School of Nursing is a national and international leader in improving the health and well‐being of individuals, families and communities. The school addresses societys most pressing challenges in healthcare through innovative teaching, award winning research and community service. For more information, visit www.nursing.uw.edu.

See webpages for  Nurse Camp 2011
Full PDF schedule: http://www.son.washington.edu/diversity/docs/NurseCamp