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Summer Nurse Camp

July 13, 2004 -- A brief staff item in today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "Future nurses get a career close-up at camp," describes a new summer camp in the Puget Sound area at which 30 interested high school students spend a week at local hospitals learning what nursing is really about. The teenagers' views on nursing are, unsurprisingly, pretty heavy on the emotional support aspects, but they also show that some students see the profession as one involving knowledge and skill. We thank the Post-Intelligencer for publicizing this potentially useful idea.

The piece suggests that despite the nursing shortage, the future of patient care won't suffer if the "passion" inspired by the camp is any indication. Most of the piece consists of quotes from the essays that some of the students--six females and one male--wrote to explain why they wanted to attend. (So these quotes are based on experience before the camp itself.) Most essays did cite things such as "helping people," the "comfort" nurses provide, the "smiles" they put on patients' faces, and of course, "[m]aking a difference in the community." But the student who described the smile nurses put on her grandma's face, helping her recover from cancer, also noted that the nurses "came with plenty of medical experience." One student suggested that nursing was right for her because that she was "an achieving student," another recalled that neonatal nurses had worked hard to save her little sister's life, and another wanted to work in labor and delivery not only because she "adored" babies, but because she had a "thirst for knowledge." The lone male student said finding out that only six per cent of nurses are men actually confirmed his decision to become one. Obviously, we need more men like him.

See the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's July 13, 2004 article "Future nurses get a career close-up at camp."

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